The path of health care reform never has been clear or direct. And last fall's presidential election has not made trying to predict its future any easier.
Thus, the timing of the Providence Business News Health Care Summit was propitious.
Of course, the two panels could not predict what, if anything, will replace the Affordable Care Act. But the effects on Rhode Island's health care scene have been significant.
For instance, roughly $600 million comes each year to the Ocean State in the form of private health insurance subsidies and Medicaid premiums for the expansion of the program done under the auspices of the ACA. An end to those two aspects of the landmark law would be devastating to the state's citizens and health care providers.
On the other hand, much of the evolution from a fee-for-service payment system to one that puts payers and providers at financial risk for better health outcomes seems to be the wave of the future, no matter what the new administration comes up with. And in the end, that may be the most important reform of all. •