Healthcare in the United States - current issues and events.
Just as I finish writing and publishing a post about focusing on the good, I am forced to eat my words.
There are some really scary things going on in the United States at the moment regarding health care provision. For the last four years, the Republican party has made it their business to undermine every initiative or attempt made by the Obama administration to improve the lives of American citizens (and to improve global perception of the United States).
Now they are seeking to overturn the decisions that were made - to repeal large parts of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, the only progressive healthcare plan that the United States has passed in fifty years - and using the flaws and ineffectiveness of these laws (which mainly exist because of the Republican party's determination to block reform at every possible turn and render the plan useless) to justify their actions.
The following comments were made by someone I know, who studied and now works in public health and health services:
"And just to be clear, the ACA has been successful: the number of uninsured has dropped, health care cost growth has slowed, quality has improved, patients with pre-existing conditions cannot be denied coverage, I cannot be charged more for insurance because I'm a woman, when I go to chain restaurants like Starbucks I know what a ridiculous number of calories are in a venti latte (those calorie-count posting requirements were in the ACA), non-profit hospitals are required to better demonstrate their community benefit, NO LIFETIME OR ANNUAL LIMITS ON COVERAGE, I can see an OB/GYN as my primary care physician without a referral, there's a center dedicated to finding ways to deliver and pay for care to Medicare and Medicaid beneficiaries that improves quality and lowers cost. What needs to be tackled now are the increasing out-of-pocket costs for consumers, which requires addressing the underlying PRICE of healthcare, which is based on the price of the inputs of healthcare like prescription drugs and medical devices - and costs of administering care under multiple different payers instead of a single payer - which in this country can cost upwards of 5 times that of other OECD nations. But again, what did the GOP just do to "rescue" that? They voted down an amendment that would have helped to reduce the rising costs of drugs by importing from Canada. They're the failures."
Needless to say, many people are frightened about what will become of their coverage once the changes that are currently being sought after take effect, especially as the incoming administration has failed to present any evidence of a new healthcare plan or of how the gaps will be filled.
→So, tell me what is actually happening
→A brief, but comprehensive article on the issues being raised regarding the ACA and the current attempts to repeal it. Do yourself a favor and check out the videos and personal stories at the end.
→A touching reminder of what unaffordable healthcare meant for so many before the passing of the ACA: Why we can't just scrap it all.
We aren't even one day into this new administration, and yet it is successfully and consistently inspiring fear, confusion and disgust in the American people. We have to take action to combat this. We have to protest. We have to share our stories. We have to contact our representatives and tell them that we do not agree with these decisions, and to implore them to represent us in Washington.
The question is no longer, will you do anything to prevent further infringement on our civil rights, but what will you do? How will you do it? Who will you speak to and how will you show up for yourself and your neighbors? We can no longer afford to be idle.
- A -