Affordable Care Act Opens Health Care PR Doors

With the President’s health care reform legislation upheld by the Supreme Court, the question is “Now what?” As we reported last week, PR specialists with health care expertise had already begun their preparations for the decision. Now the next steps have to be taken.

“Lobbyists are bracing for a flood of healthcare regulations now that the Supreme Court has cleared away uncertainty about the reform law’s future,” The Hill reports.

“[W]ith the mandate intact after Thursday’s 5-4 ruling, lobbyists say they’re ready to get down to the nitty-gritty and focus on the regulations that will be created under the sweeping overhaul,” the story continues.

Health care messaging, education, and continued campaigns to further different policies are in our future. Some say things will remain slow because of the summer season. Others think things will quickly accelerate as folks start pushing for changes and making preparations to institute parts of the law.

Al Jackson, MD of Chandler Chicco Companies’ Washington office, offers three of big takeaways, after the jump.

First, almost all of the Affordable Care Act was upheld. Second, Chief Justice John Roberts became a hero to liberals, which is great for liberals but is causing him a fair number of headaches due to the conservative backlash. And the provision on Medicaid that was struck down will impact how many people are ultimately covered. Some state governors are already announcing their intentions to opt-out.

And the winners, according to Jackson? “Hospitals expect that their emergency rooms will be crowded with far fewer uninsured people,” he says. Medicaid insurers are winners and consultants who are helping the industry make their way through the new rules will be making big bucks. So plan your new business pitches accordingly.

APCO Worldwide Health Care Advisory Board member Dr. Bob Kocher also sees other opportunities for health care professionals (and delivers high praise upon SCOTUS’ decision to uphold the law).

“Fortunately, health care can bring to bear all we know from other sectors about how to use IT to improve productivity, technology to engage consumers, and big data to improve and personalize the care experience to make health care as pleasurable and reliable as every other consumer experience in America,” he writes on the APCO blog.

All of these are very educated guesses, of course. The way things actually pan out is still TBD, with The Washington Post saying that things could get “very messy” during the first few years of transition. They’ve also got a lengthy overview of the various issues and points of view that have bubbled up now that we’ve had a few days to reflect.