With the passage of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, healthcare is on a lot of people's minds these days. I believe, overall, the new law is good for America and for South Dakota.
Here is my take. We are not a country that can stand by and let people die in the street when we can do something about it (thank God). This is why we have created laws that say hospitals must treat people in critical condition regardless of whether they can pay. This leaves us with three options. We can do nothing and leave the hospitals to pay, which is how the system works today. We can reimburse the hospitals using tax dollars (which most people would describe as a form of "single-payer"). Or we can require everyone to have insurance to pay for themselves. Many people were afraid that if we went to a single payer (i.e. taxpayers), the government would be too involved in our healthcare decisions. With that in mind, the Obama administration decided to try option 3, requiring everyone to be insured by law. In order to do this, insurance companies can no longer deny people coverage due to pre-existing conditions. Also, people who cannot afford insurance will have the option to enroll in Medicaid. The law also requires businesses with more than 50 employees to provide insurance for their workers.
I am sure this solution is not perfect, and it will not solve the entire problem of rising costs, but it is a good start, and over time, we will improve it to the point where we will once again have the greatest healthcare system in the world.