Health Reform and Public Health: Will Good Policies but Bad Politics Combine to Produce Bad Policy?

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The
enactment of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA)
was an incomplete victory and will remain so even if the new Republican
congressional majority does not curtail its provisions. The legislation
has many shortcomings and compromises. Most importantly, it could
have brought help sooner to millions of uninsured or under-insured Americans.

Despite
these compromises, public health researchers and practitioners have
reason to celebrate. Simply put, PPACA
fundamentally altered and improved the public health infrastructure
of the United States. Fully implemented, PPACA promises to markedly
improve clinical preventive services and transform our nation’s response
to traditional centerpiece public health concerns, including HIV/AIDS,
substance abuse, mental health disorders, and other conditions.

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