What editorial writers are saying about health reform's one-year anniversary
■ President Obama's signature on the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act on March 23, 2010, did not end the health system reform debate.
Posted April 11, 2011.
Critics continue to push lawmakers or the courts to invalidate the law, while supporters point to the gains that have been made under its initial provisions.
After one year, health law already offers lifelines
Many of the key features of the controversial new health law -- such as the mandate requiring most Americans to buy insurance and subsidies to help some people afford it -- don't go into effect until 2014. Many smaller provisions have kicked in, however, and they have begun doing what the law was designed to do -- change a dysfunctional status quo in which too many Americans couldn't get insurance, and even those with coverage had to worry about losing it just when they needed it most. USA Today, March 22
One year later
It's been just a year since the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act was passed. If ever a law was misnamed, this is it. It weakens patient protection and is hugely costly. The country is currently drowning in the costs of three programs: Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security. Obamacare is very likely to become the fourth, and a real back-breaker. When you start messing around with U.S. health care, you are not tinkering around the edges of a multibillion-dollar program. Health care in the United States represents one-sixth of our economy. The Buffalo (N.Y.) News, March 30
Year-old health reform remains largely unknown
Americans still have little idea how they can take advantage of the new law. The latest Kaiser Health tracking poll shows that a majority of Americans say they are confused or do not have enough information to understand how health reform will impact them personally. That's a failure of congressional Democrats, who ran away from their signature achievement in the 2010 election. It's a failure of President Barack Obama in not employing the bully pulpit to make the case for the reform. It's also the result of congressional Republicans seeking to undermine the law before it has a chance to succeed. The Sacramento (Calif.) Bee, March 24
After one year, health care law benefits America
Consumers already are realizing some of the benefits of the new law. Parents of chronically ill patients no longer need worry about lifetime limits on their child's health benefits. Insurance plans must pay for an annual physical and for essential preventive care. Young adults can remain on their parents' health insurance policies up until age 26. Insurance companies have ceased the vile practice of revoking policies after a patient becomes sick. The Kansas City (Mo.) Star, March 20
It has now been one year since we watched the Democratic majority in Congress maneuver to pass the most sweeping overhaul ever of our health care system. In that year we have had a chance to discover some of what is in it -- although its 2,400-plus pages continue to confound lawyers and consultants. And what we have discovered is that although the law ham-fistedly addresses some of the issues regarding access, it does nothing to control spiraling health care costs and likely adds to them. Deseret News, Salt Lake City, March 25