Silicon Valley Notebook


An investigation of how the Affordable Care Act (ACA) affected health outcomes in terms of access, cost and knowledge level was conducted using the Health Reform Monitoring Survey (2014) of about 7,500 nonelderly adults in the U.S. Content analysis, of journalistic accounts of insurance coverage experiences in tandem with interviews with healthcare professionals knowledgeable about the ACA’s insurance coverage guidelines, its social, and current political constraints, were used to illustrate the survey findings. Although health outcomes of both ACA and non-ACA insurees were adversely affected by pre-existing conditions, ACA participants were better able, than non-ACA, to keep their health stable with lower costs and independently of access differentials. In contrast, non-ACA insurees were able to improve their health outcomes only if they had more access to health care and at lower costs. These findings, theoretically framed using Structural Functionalism, Strain, and Social Resources theories, contributed to the scholarly literature on Health Care Reform initiatives and equitable quality care service models. Future research, on the fate of the ACA under the current political climate, is recommended to support evidence based health care reform.