There was genuine excitement in the air in our office today about hearing the Supreme Court’s decision on the Affordable Care Act. And that in itself is a victory.
Whether you agree or disagree with this re-affirmed law of the land, you cannot argue that it has made more Americans take an interest in how the system works and understand that they need to be more informed health care consumers.
The entire process of passing the legislation, then fighting the legislation all the way to today’s Supreme Court decision (and undoubtedly the election-year rhetoric that will continue on this topic through November) has bumped up healthcare as a top-of-mind issue in the minds of Americans.
We need that, because the first word of this legislation – affordable – requires more than laws and regulations if we’re ever going to truly get a handle on health spending. It requires each of us to get out of the “passive patient” passenger seat and take the wheel – to become smart healthcare comparison shoppers, informed care consumers and health conscious Americans.
All the debate, all the Super PAC ads, all the uncertainty…it’s all worth it if this is what it takes to get our collective attention. It’s all worth it if this is what it takes to get us to spend as much time researching our health care purchases as we do researching our big-screen TV, or as much effort keeping our bodies in shape as we do keeping our cars shiny.
So if you’re furious about today’s Supreme Court decision and think it will cost way more than it saves, take a good long walk to bring down your blood pressure. And if you’re elated about it, jump up and down at an aerobics class tonight or hit the town and go dancing. Let this collective energy about healthcare work for you, to boost your exercise and wellness routine and refocus your attention on what you can do to get the best deal on high quality care.
And let us healthcare nerds have our day in the sun today, where we finally get to be the focus of water cooler conversation right up there with the Miami Heat!
What do you think about today’s ruling? Share your thoughts with us in the comments.