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CPBJ Blog Extras

Into the weeds: A brief 2013 retrospective

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Heather Stauffer

Happy New Year! Let's celebrate by talking about 2013 one last time.

When it started, I thought I knew where Obamacare was going. I had been covering health care for about half a year at that point, and it had been tumultuous, but the Supreme Court's decision had come down and the election had passed. I expected I'd have to natter on about the employer and individual mandates and the marketplaces and the Cadillac taxes as they came into play — oh, and Pennsylvania's Medicaid decision. But those concepts had become familiar to me and our readers, and I thought we were headed into the realm of relative predictability at last.

Oh, foolishness! Oh, naivety!

What I expected was, as you know, not what I got. We had extensive regulating. We had deadlines treated as, well, extremely malleable things. And we had more drama occasioned by healthcare.gov than I thought possible for any website except Facebook.

So, that's Lesson One: Obamacare is still, shall we say, a hot mess. We're way into the weeds now, and I don't expect us to get out any time soon. Plan on this ride staying wild, and you probably won't be disappointed.

Lesson Two is entirely different: The controversy over team-based care and what it should look like really, really, really matters to health care providers. We didn't run any big stories on it, just a couple of small mentions — but I got more email on that issue than on anything else I wrote about in 2013, even Obamacare.

Doctors (and others) think it's vital that care teams be led by a physician, and providers lower on the medical ladder (and others) think it's vital that they be allowed to do certain things on their own.

What do you think?

Heather Stauffer

Heather Stauffer

Heather Stauffer covers Lancaster County, nonprofits, education and health care. Have a tip or question for her? Email her at heathers@cpbj.com. Follow her on Twitter, @StaufferCPBJ.

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