THE AFFORDABLE CARE ACT

Baker Institute health economics chair Vivian Ho cleared up some miconceptions about health care reform during a recent appearance on KPRC-TV"s "Houston Newsmakers with Khambrel Marshall."

The changes embodied in the Affordable Care Act (ACA) are complicated, Ho said, and many Americans are concerned about higher premiums and coverage provisions. "It seems to be that if you have employer-provided health insurance from a large employer, you can expect very little to change," she said. Small businesses of up to 50 employees are not required under the ACA to purchase health insurance for their workers.

The Congressional Budget Office estimates the ACA will cost about $1.1 trillion over the next 10 years, but the tab will be covered by tax increases and reduced payments to health providers, Ho said. However, she added, legislation as mammoth as the ACA is bound to cause disagreement about the numbers involved -- how many people will enroll, the price of insurance premiums, and the unintended consequences of the law, for instance.

"It is going to take some time to see what happens, and there are going to need to be fixes in the legislation as we move along and we see some of the errors," Ho said, but she predicts health care reforms be beneficial for most Americans in the long run.

Watch Vivian Ho on "Houston Newsmakers With Khambrel Marshall."