In a roller coaster-like enrollment period, the Affordable Care Act established itself as a health program with over six million subscribers. Now the real program begins in clinics, hospitals and doctors' offices across the country. The New York Times gives a riveting first look at the first days of new health coverage In Kentucky, which expanded Medicaid.
It's a scene (video) of people with long-deferred health needs -- like Tamekia Toure, a single mom who at 40 has diabetes, high blood pressure and chronic pain -- and of overwhelmed providers who are already seeing streams of new patients with needs ranging from checkups to surgery.
For non-profit health centers, the health law holds an opportunity, writes NYT: "thousands of new paying patients that could help erase debt, raise salaries and hire new staff members."
But the patient loads are causing fatigue and anger among those struggling with administrative and patient overload.
Have you used your new health plan? Share your story. Read the story and see the video.