My prediction is that within a few months or years we will realize we have made no meaningful progress on Healthcare Reform. We will still have huge swaths of the population uninsured and seeking healthcare only when there is an acute episode and then going to a high cost provider (a hospital ED). We will have expanding government programs that can only pay for themselves with borrowed money. We will continue to have healthcare inflation (perhaps blunted by a weak economy and/or payment reforms, i.e. pay for performance, bundled payments, modernized capitation models etc.). Health insurance will still be a lousy value. We will continue to see American companies at a competitive disadvantage in the global marketplace due to the cost of employee health benefits.
For true Healthcare Reform, we need to activate the capitalists and the entrepreneurs. We also need bi-partisan support for any new federal laws. Government policy has been successful in creating the environment for innovation and change in other industries and there is no reason healthcare is any different. Hat's off to the Democrats for coming up with a plan. Unfortunately, I don't think this one (the ACA) is going to be the solution.