President Obama Signed Into Law The Patient Protection And Affordable Care Act

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A little over five years ago, President Barack Obama signed into law the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act. This was a huge win for the Democratic party, after failing to successfully reform healthcare during the Clinton Administration. The vast majority of the focus on the bill went to the major provisions. However, the seldom mentioned COOP program began to make headlines this year. This program allowed for the creation of state and region-wide health insurance cooperatives. These co-ops were to be owned and run by its stakeholders with the intention of providing quality insurance at a more affordable price. Originally designed to be a replacement for the polarizing public option, nearly half of the co-ops in the program failed in quick succession. There were two primary causes. From the start the program was fundamentally flawed and the funding that the co-ops were promised simply did not materialize. This leaves Democratic leaders at a crossroads. They can either fight to fix and save the program, or scrap it and look for something better. Without intervention, the COOP program will continue to deteriorate and consumers could be hurt. It is vital that the right lessons are learned from the COOP experiment. The concept of a health insurance cooperative is not by any means a new one. In fact, Group Health Cooperative, founded approximately 70 years ago in Seattle, serves as an example of the success that the cooperative model can provide. The idealized version of
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