By Janice S. Ellis, Ph.D., Kansas City, MO —
What is the problem with providing affordable health care for all, blacks, whites, rich and poor?
The Affordable Care Act has had and could continue to have an impact on your ability to access needed health care services whether you are white, black, brown or yellow. Obama Care, as the policy has been labeled, seeks to significantly increase the number of Americans who will have health care coverage.
Affordable health care for all. Isn’t that a positive, a good thing? If not, why not?
The sad fact is access to adequate health insurance coverage is still out of reach for many tens of millions of Americans, still. However, ever since the passage of the Affordable Care Act, there has been non-stop partisan clamor to repeal it. Suits have been filed against it.
And, now the newly-elected Republican leadership of both houses of Congress is threatening to repeal, dismantle, gut or undo The Affordable Care Act in one way or another. It is also likely to go before the Supreme Court once again in an effort to gut its key provisions.
What is most at stake is the provision that mandates all individuals get some type of health insurance. What is wrong with that provision? Isn’t having car insurance a requirement by law?
The bill has many important provisions, among them not allowing discrimination for those who might have a pre-existing condition, no co-pay costs for seeking preventive care, allowing children to stay on their parent’s policy until age 25, a great value for those college years. There are other needed provisions.
Evidence abounds that we all pay – one way or the other – when emergency rooms and urgent care centers are filled with patients who either have limited or no insurance at all. They do not have the means to access preventive or primary care, preventing a minor illness from becoming a catastrophic incident or an acute episode becoming a chronic disease.
So why wouldn’t there be policy measures to not only provide health care services for most Americans, but also try to identify and manage continuing spiraling health care costs?
It is not a secret who makes up the uninsured in this country. Blacks, Hispanics, low-income whites, and their children make up the greatest number.
All of these people are not on welfare. Many work two jobs to make ends meet. The problem is that many have jobs that do not offer health insurance as a benefit. So the hard worker not only works hard but also cannot afford a day off if he/she becomes sick. So often, acute and minor health problems turn into chronic and catastrophic diseases. Affordable health care for all could minimize this occurring.
There are also long-term, cyclical consequences. Among the many challenges poorer children face every day, imagine them performing at their best in school when they aren’t feeling well and their parents can’t afford a doctor’s visit or the medications to knock out a common childhood infection or illness. Imagine the unnecessary suffering among poor elderly. Affordable health care for all is a must.
While we are still in an anemic, yet recovering economy, America is still one of the richest nations on earth. It begs the question why so many Americans lack adequate health care coverage? And, why was there such a partisan political divide to try and find a solution that had both positive humanitarian and fiscal outcomes?
Making a concerted effort to reduce the number of uninsured and underinsured should be a part of the legislative agenda at all levels of government.
Should the Republican Congress or Supreme Court strike down Obama Care, every American should demand of their elected official specifics about what will be put in its place. Listen carefully to their answers.
What is their plan for making health care coverage available for tens of millions of Americans? Affordable health care for all.
Do not accept a NON answer. The health of too many Americans, present and future generations, is at stake.
Feature Photo Credit: anexcellentspirit.com