The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act was signed into law by President Obama on March 23rd of 2010. Whether you call it “the new health care reform law,” “Obamacare,” or “the ACA,” it is a big law, with big implications for health care as we know it.
It’s also still very much in progress. Many of its provisions don’t go into effect until 2014, and many of the decisions about just how it will work and what it will mean for you and me are still being made, either through rules and regulations issued by federal agencies, through ongoing budget battles in Congress, or state by state. Click here to read our guide on what you need to know about the state of the ACA.
In Minnesota, some of the biggest decisions ahead of us are about our state Health Benefits Exchange. What’s that you say? An Exchange is a new foundation for better health. It’s a tool to help individuals and small businesses get access to health care. On the surface, it’s a website, but behind the screen are improved rules and regulations to make health insurance better and more affordable, and to make it easier to figure out what you are really getting, and what help you qualify for. It’s those “behind-the-screen” decisions that are the next big battle-ground between the public interest and the corporate interest in health care. Click here to read or download our handy overview about what an Exchange could mean for you.
The first challenge to winning a people-friendly Exchange for Minnesota is to make sure we, and our friends and neighbors, know what we have to gain, and what we have to lose, in the decisions being made in our state right now. The next step is to join together with others to take action!