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?