A Publication of WTVP

Nearly four years after the Affordable Care Act was signed into law, we are seeing that change does not come swiftly or painlessly. While its provisions continue to be phased in, new changes announced in recent weeks have added to the confusion surrounding this sharply divisive legislation, even as it slowly but surely transforms the U.S. healthcare system.

The rollout of, needless to say, was a debacle of epic proportions. We can only hope its technical problems are resolved quickly, as they distract from the real effort at hand: fixing our broken healthcare system. But sooner or later, the website will work, the dust will settle, and we’ll begin to see the law’s impact on the uninsured, on the spiraling costs of healthcare delivery, and on the health of the American people. Someday, the “Obamacare paralysis” we have all been experiencing will give way to… well… something else. We shall see.

Systemic change isn’t easy, no doubt. Nonetheless, that change has been coursing through each and every corner of our healthcare system for some time, with no going back. At the local level, we are seeing a myriad of changes which mirror those happening nationally:

These changes are taking root each and every day—that’s the larger picture obscured by the abysmal performance of Eventually, we hope, they will put an end to the maze of uncertainty that has defined our healthcare system for too long.

So what’s next? Where will the U.S. healthcare system be one year from now? Not a single person in the world can answer that question, but there’s no doubt the year ahead will be a defining one. iBi