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Health Care: Perspectives on Reform

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Editor’s Note
Arguably the biggest shift for U.S. health care in several decades – the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act signed into law last month by President Obama – is making inroads in the Ozarks.

Reform represents different points of emphasis to different people, but one thing it is not, is simple. The legislation comprises some 2,700 pages; regulations are expected to exceed 100,000 pages.

Enacting health reform won’t be a quick task, either. Some provisions, tax credits for small businesses and closing the Medicare coverage gap among them, will take effect later this year. But others are spread out, such as an excise tax that will, beginning in 2018, impose a 40 percent tax on insurance companies and plan administrators for plans that exceed stipulated cost thresholds.

As legislators start writing the regulations that will drive reforms, however, there’s little doubt that individuals, community leaders and businesspeople nationwide are thinking about its potential effects.  And Missouri is among nearly 20 states that are considering filing a legal challenge against the Obama reform plan.

Springfield Business Journal’s special feature Perspectives on Reform represents a starting point to what will likely be several months – or even years – of coverage about health reform and the changes it brings to the marketplace.

In giving our readers a chance to see multiple points of view about reform, we’ve taken a snapshot of nine perspectives, with a doctor, clinic, pharmacy and insurance provider among them. Our hope is that these points of view will lend some clarity to the discussions and concerns.

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