What is the future of the Affordable Care Act?
As debate swirls around in Congress about COVID-19, impeachment, the economic relief package and climate change to name just a few, health care reform challenges are lurking in the background. Higher costs for health care still lag in good outcomes; millions remain uninsured despite the Affordable Care Act providing 18 million to 20 million people coverage, and devastating out-of-pocket expenses make the debate of this crisis inevitable. Plus, the dire circumstances of the COVID pandemic have lent an urgency not felt in the past.
We, as health care consumers, have a unique opportunity to put forth our voices on what within the current system has worked in our own situations and what could be improved upon. There are a couple of things that we must agree on from the beginning. Regardless of any proposed plan or plans, there must be an agreement that health care is not free, even though we would all love it to be. Whether through taxes, insurance premiums and deductibles or limiting payment to hospitals and physicians, there must be adequate funding sources.
Secondly, there must be universal accessibility. As this pandemic has demonstrated in grim reality, everyone from the president to the man on the street, needs to have access to quality health care. That circles around to cost because, to have universal availability, it will cost all of us in some fashion. We need a healthy society to be a productive, thriving society for the future of our country and the future we leave our children.
If ever there was a need to be informed about the upcoming debates on this extremely complicated subject, it is now. There are a multitude of resources on the ACA on the internet. I can recommend two websites I have found helpful. One excellent article this month on the future of the ACA in the Journal of the American Medical Association and a link at HHS.gov.
As you debate this subject with your friends, neighbors or government officials, you will find being more informed well worth the effort.
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