This brief addresses criticism that the Affordable Care Act ignores the pressing issue of health care cost containment. The paper argues that there are important cost containment features included in the law. These include the managed competition structure of exchanges, Medicare payment provisions, and the excise tax on high cost health care plans. There are many other provisions that offer promise to make the health care delivery system more efficient: the establishment of medical homes and accountable care organizations, penalties for hospital readmissions, and experiments with bundled payments. The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services credit some of these provisions to slowing the growth in health care costs.
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