Industry players in the US have reacted
pragmatically to the Affordable Care Act (ACA), according to
research undertaken by Life Insurance

The reaction comes after
the US Supreme Court’s recent decision to uphold the ACA, widely
referred to as ‘Obamacare’.

Commenting on ACA,
Leslie Levinson, chair of the Healthcare Practice Group at law firm
Edwards Wildman Palmer, said: “Many had already accepted that
change is coming, and whether the court threw out the law, in whole
or in part, people were already moving in a direction to do things
differently, recognising [as in the UK] that the way of delivering
healthcare on a traditional basis has got to change.”

This view was echoed by
Joseph Marinucci, a director at Standard and Poor’s. Marinucci
said: “Health insurers have for the best part been focused on
implementation and have generally been constructive. Obviously
they’ve voiced concern, but over the past couple of years the
bill’s been law, and for the most part health insurers are in a
better position to clarify strategy and focus on near term
operational priorities.”

Robert Zirkelbach, press
secretary for American Health Insurance Plans (AHIP), the national
trade association representing the health insurance industry in the
US, said ACA expands coverage to millions of Americans, and “that’s
a goal that our industry has long supported”.

However, he warned that
the legislation also contains major provisions that will increase
the cost of healthcare coverage for consumers and employers,
“That’s the opposite of what healthcare reform is supposed to
accomplish,” said Zirkelbach.

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President Obama has said
that the Affordable Care Act (ACA) means that from 2014 the 30
million Americans who do not yet have health insurance, will have
access to “affordable” private health insurance plans, according to
President Obama.

The legislation was
signed into law in 2010, but opponents of the reform had
argued that the law’s individual responsibility provision
exceeds Congress’ power to regulate interstate commerce because it
penalizes “inactivity.”

Republican Presidential
contender Mitt Romney has vowed to act to repeal ACA – known as
“Obamacare” if elected US president.