The Affordable Care Act
By: Chris Hanrahan
A federal judge in Texas has ruled this week that the Affordable Care Act is unconstitutional. The ruling is going to be appealed by a group of states (led by California) and the future of Healthcare for Americans hinges on what happens next.
As we go into the new year, an examination of what has brought us to this juncture is germane. In fact, it was earlier this year that the most recent effort to “undo” the ACA was stopped by Congress (by Arizona Republican Senator John McCain) who has since died.
The conversation about healthcare in America is not a new one, but it is often discussed at its extremes. For millions of Americans who fear losing coverage for pre-existing conditions, this latest move might be seen as a sign of bad times to come. A recent call by Trump (in a tweet) has been: “Now Congress must pass a STRONG las that provides GREAT healthcare and protects pre-existing conditions.”
To people who assume the worst about Trump and the Republicans, only time will tell if their outrage at this ruling will be justified. Over time, we will see the [replace] that will come after the [repeal] of the Affordable Care Act law.
The basis for the ruling was due to an earlier ruling which repealed the individual coverage mandate (tax). Since the individual coverage mandate was no longer in place, the whole law was ruled unconstitutional .
Importantly, millions of women who rely on nationally mandated abortion services have a feeling of “losing their rights” over this ruling, which widely guarantees abortion services even up to the final hours of a viable pregnancy.
Planned Parenthood will have the support of 4 out of 9 Supreme Court Justices (who have shown an allegiance to the organization) in the arguments to come over this case. In the end, I believe that there will be states (maybe 20 or less) which will continue to fund this controversial healthcare practice.
AHCA – American Health Care Act
We must not lose focus on where we would like to go from here. Our Country needs to protect the rights of all Americans (and their pre-existing conditions) and find a way to provide better healthcare to all who are in need. One of the important aspects of a feasible replacement to the ACA will be, does it set the stage for worldwide healthcare advances?
As it stands now, we have doctors which are more and more expensive, and medical equipment which is not being produced at the scale needed to drive progress in the standard of care. When thinking about what we want, it should not be a question of individual concern. If the AHCA meets its stated mandate, we will begin making medical equipment in this Country at a lower cost and higher quality. Also, for “coverage” amounts, there will be far less price gouging involved in the marketing and sale of medical equipment, pharmaceuticals, as well as other operational costs around providing healthcare.
We need not tighten the requirements to be a Doctor or a Nurse from here. Ideally, we will evolve as a Country and indeed a World, to bring healthcare outcomes to any region that is in need. The United States needs new tools to prepare and establish the next generation of medicine. Ultimately the whole world stands to gain from our example.
The job of the Congress in this important policy area will be to get past the Democratic-led House’s objections to the repeal of the ACA, and to craft a very superior healthcare future for all Americans through the enactment of new law.
Please stay tuned to MOC On-Demand for more conversation around this important issue.
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