Earlier this week, a Virginia judge ruled a key provision of PPACA to be unconstitutional. The individual mandate, requiring the purchase of health insurance by all is a key requirement within PPACA that provides the financial resources to support other benefits. Without this provision,the viability of the law is in doubt. This issue will certainly come to the Supreme Court for resolution, but the resulting decision and it’s impact on the legislation will not be known for some time. In my view, this uncertainty about PPACA should focus us even more sharply on the importance of addressing the most fundamental need for health care, how care is delivered and the role people can play in improving their health. Health is an individual resource and value and personalized health planning can be accomplished without legislation. Innovation in care to make it coordinated and personalized can be created without legislation and it is hoped that insurers, CMS and private enterprises will develop capabilities to accomplish these goals for their own merits. Improving the approach to enhancing health and care delivery is essential to the success of PPACA and the legislation does have features to facilitate such approaches but needed change can and should occur regardless of that law. Such changes make good sense and good business as they will be very cost effective.
While we wait to see what the impact of legal challenges to PPACA do to the law, I suggest concerted Government and private sector initiatives to spur better models of care delivery.