Although preliminary evidence suggests that these newcomers may be helping to drive down costs in some states, a lack of additional funding has prevented other potential co-ops from receiving startup loans. The co-ops also are barred from using any federal money for marketing, cannot jointly negotiate contracts with doctors, and have limited access to the large employer insurance market—casting doubt on their continued viability.
Explore This IssueJanuary 2014
On Sept. 30, 2010, the U.S. comptroller general appointed 15 members to the National Health Care Workforce Commission, an acknowledgment that the country needs more guidance in how to address existing shortages in doctors and other healthcare providers that are expected to widen. The commission, authorized by the ACA, has never met, however. The act didn’t appropriate any money for it, and Congress has yet to approve any funding either, meaning that the commission’s members are legally barred from conducting any work.—BN