More than two years ago, President Barack Obama signed into law the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, a behemoth piece of legislation that, for better or worse, touches nearly every aspect of America’s health-care system. Among the provisions that have been both hailed and vilified is the individual mandate, which beginning Jan. 1, 2014, will require all Americans to purchase health insurance, and a requirement for all businesses with more than 50 employees to provide health coverage.

The health-care equation
Spurred by the new law, Iowa’s largest hospital groups and the market-leading health insurer recently launched the state’s first accountable care organizations, a new insurance model in which health systems will be financially rewarded for providing quality care and reducing costs. Read article

Insurance co-op on the horizon

At the same time ... states and insurers are preparing for a controversial restructuring of the health insurance market with the launch of health insurance exchanges. In Iowa, a new nonprofit insurance company has been formed through a multimillion-dollar federal loan that will compete for business through this state’s exchange. Read article

Social Report:  Overturn reform?

Still to be decided ... is whether some or all of the provisions of the Affordable Care Act will be upheld by the U.S. Supreme Court. If an online survey of Business Record readers is any indication, a majority of business people in Central Iowa think the Supreme Court should overturn the entire health-reform law as unconstitutional. Read article

Mercy disputes Iowa Health's claim as first ACO  Read article