Drawing up the document itself is fairly simple; the more difficult part comes beforehand, including deciding what kind end-of-life care you do and don't want to receive, and who -- if anyone -- you want to empower to make decisions in your stead.
Eventually, when it works, the Affordable Care Act will increase enrollment by the millions. Visitors to Healthcare.gov nearly topped 10 million in the first week alone, and demand is still quite high.
One way New York State is considering streamlining its Medicaid costs is by expanding needle-exchange centers to help drug users prevent getting HIV and hepatitis C. But that may take federal funds, and Congress reinstated a ban on such funds last year.
We need to do a much better job of helping people understand what the health care law means for them. It's complicated, but we can give some basics, at least. Let me take a stab at answering some of the pressing questions I'm hearing over and over.
The constitutional question is over. Now, hospitals and medical leaders must continue to resolve the issues of access, affordability and quality. A lot has been done but we have more to accomplish and the problems transcend politics.
Admittedly, New York State has not always been a beacon for functional politics, but when I look at what we have accomplished related to our health care spending, it is clear that New York has been a real leader.