The pundits and talking heads on cable television spent yesterday trying to figure out the politics of yesterday’s historic Supreme Court ruling on healthcare – who won, who lost, whose campaign is most affected.
With all that happening, it’s easy to forget that it’s not President Obama or Mitt Romney who will be most affected by this ruling. The people who will be most affected by yesterday’s ruling are the millions of Americans whose healthcare will become stronger and more secure once the patient protection reforms upheld yesterday go into effect.
Millions of Americans are affected by yesterday’s ruling – myself included. Now that the Affordable Care Act has been upheld, my 21-year-old son Trey will have confidence knowing that he will still have healthcare through his parents as he enters the job market. All children and other Americans under the age of 26 will be able to have that same security.
Other Americans will no longer be denied healthcare because of a pre-existing conditions. Others with ailments that are expensive to treat will benefit from the end of lifetime benefit caps. Still other Americans will now have access to preventative healthcare – a change that will save money and, for some of them, their lives. In short, these reforms make our nation and American middle class families stronger and more secure.
Unfortunately, those running the United States House of Representatives right now disagree. They’ve already announced they’re going to vote to repeal these patient protections. That vote, coming in July, is nothing but a distracting, partisan game at a time when Congress should be focused on helping create jobs. This misguided set of priorities is more evidence that we must elect new leaders to the U.S. House.
Furthermore, America’s healthcare crisis is still very real. Too many American families are met with financial ruin because of a loved one falling ill. No one in America should go bankrupt just because they get sick.
There are a number of steps experts in the field recommend our healthcare system take to lower healthcare costs. For example, better disinfection practices in hospitals would go a long way towards reducing in-hospital infection rates (a major factor in healthcare costs). We also need to crackdown on Medicare fraud so seniors who actually need healthcare are able to receive it.
The next steps in healthcare reform cannot be approached in the same polarizing way that the Affordable Care Act was. Healthcare should not be a partisan issue; the stakes are too high for it to get bogged down in politics as usual. Going forward, Democrats and Republicans in Congress must work together to find solutions that lower out-of-control healthcare costs. It’s what the American people want and it’s what the American people deserve.