Author Affiliations: RAND Corporation and David Geffen UCLA School of Medicine, Santa Monica, California.
In less than 2 years, all US citizens and legal US residents will have health insurance—except individuals who are willing to pay a penalty for not buying insurance. The United States is on the verge of joining the civilized world.1 Of course, this outcome will occur only if, among other things, the US Supreme Court does not rule that the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act is unconstitutional, if US and state governments can enact the necessary policies and regulations, and if the health insurance exchanges required to implement the law will work. Whether a proponent or a critic of this law, most will agree with the undeniable fact that a new era in US medicine and US health care begins in less than 2 years.
Brook RH. Two Years and CountingHow Will the Effects of the Affordable Care Act Be Monitored?. JAMA. 2012;307(1):41-42. doi:10.1001/jama.2011.1948