Professor Mark Hall is quoted regarding universal insurability and Affordable Care Act in Triad Business Journal

Photo of Professor Mark Hall

Professor Mark Hall

Professor Mark Hall spoke in a panel discussion sponsored by the Greensboro Chamber of Commerce on Tuesday, August 12 about the Affordable Care Act stating “…the main point and the key objective is universal insurability — making sure that everyone has the ability to apply for and be granted health insurance coverage. Whether they can afford it is another matter, but making sure that access was there is the seat.” Triad Business Journal reporter, Owen Covington, authored the article below regarding the discussion 

Listing to a panel discussion sponsored by the Greensboro Chamber of Commerce Tuesday morning, I heard reference to a metaphor for the Affordable Care Act that I’ve heard a number of time before — the three-legged stool.

Describing the different core components of the health care reform law, three primary tenets offer their support to the law, with, each complementing and reliant upon the others, and the stool falling over if one of the legs falters.

They are: guaranteed issue and community rating (meaning an insurer can’t deny coverage or charge astronomical rates coverage because of pre-existing conditions), the individual mandate (everyone must have coverage or face a fine) and subsidies (financial assistance from the federal government to help low-income consumers can pay for coverage).

I’ve sat in on numerous, similar discussions, and had heard the metaphor before. But it wasn’t until comments from panelist Mark Hall, a professor at Wake Forest University School of Law and a leading health care policy scholar specializing in health care reform, that I realized I was missing a key part of that image.

Those are the three legs — what’s the seat represent?

As Hall noted, if you go by what the law is called, the “Affordable Care” Act, you’d be mistaken.

“One thing it doesn’t do is it doesn’t make care more affordable,” Hall said said during the discussion, which was organized by Pilot Benefits. “Mistake number one was to call it that. It doesn’t change in any significant way how doctors and hospitals are paid.”

As Hall noted, while many opponents might criticize the bill for not reducing health care spending, “the main point is it does not affect how health care is delivered or paid for. … That point is lost on about half of the population.’

Continue reading the full article on Triad Business Journal.