Elections

KHN’s ‘What the Health?’ Replay: What’s at Stake When High Court Hears ACA Case

We’re off this week, but the Affordable Care Act is in the news, as the GOP holds its virtual convention and the Supreme Court recently scheduled arguments in a case challenging the law. So we’re reposting our ACA 10th anniversary episode from March. For this special episode of “What the Health?” host Julie Rovner interviews Kathleen Sebelius, who was President Barack Obama’s secretary of Health and Human Services when the law was passed. Then Rovner, Joanne Kenen of Politico and Mary Agnes Carey of KHN discuss the law’s history, impact and prospects for the future.
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The “What the Health?” panelists are taking a break for two weeks. But since the Supreme Court recently scheduled arguments in the case challenging the constitutionality of the Affordable Care Act, it seemed like a good opportunity to replay an episode from March, when the law turned 10.

As the “What the Health?” panelists point out in this episode, that’s a milestone that many considered unlikely. The past decade for the health law has been filled with controversy and several near-death experiences. But the law also brought health coverage to millions of Americans and laid the groundwork for a shift to a health system that pays for quality rather than quantity.

Yet the future of the law remains in doubt. Many progressive Democrats would like to scrap it in favor of a “Medicare for All” system that would be fully financed by the federal government. Republicans would still like to repeal or substantially alter it. And GOP officials have brought the case asking the Supreme Court to invalidate the entire law. Those arguments will be heard on Nov. 10.

This special episode, which first aired March 19, also includes a discussion between “What the Health?” host Julie Rovner and Kathleen Sebelius, who was secretary of Health and Human Services during the development, passage and implementation of the health law. KHN published a transcript of that interview.

Rovner, Joanne Kenen of Politico and Mary Agnes Carey of KHN, who have all covered the law from the start, discuss the ACA’s past, present and future.

To hear all our podcasts, click here.

And subscribe to What the Health? on iTunesStitcherGoogle PlaySpotify, or Pocket Casts.

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Kaiser Health News is a nonprofit news service covering health issues. It is an editorially independent program of the Kaiser Family Foundation, which is not affiliated with Kaiser Permanente.

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