"It is health that is real wealth and not pieces of gold and silver." ― Mahatma Gandhi
The United States should be working toward a goal of access to health care for all of its citizens. Unlike other industrialized countries, access to healthcare in the US is rationed according to a citizens ability to pay. This has led to great disparities in health outcomes between the poorest and the richest in our nation.
As a primary care physician, I have seen first hand the damaging effects that lack of access to care has had on those who cannot pay. In fact 85% of Family Practice physicians are against repeal of the Affordable Care Act. The Texas Medical Association, the American Academy of Family Practice, the American Academy of Pediatrics, the American College of Physicians, the American College of Obstetrics and Gynecology and the Texas Medical Association all are against repeal because of harms to patients and the disruptions in healthcare that would occur.
We have room to improve the ACA, repeal is not the answer. The GOP says Repeal and Replace, I say Secure and Strengthen.
To Secure and Strengthen the ACA we must:
- Work toward Universal Coverage. There are many viable options to this including single payer and public-private hybrid plans.
- Immediately expand Medicaid. We must provide access to healthcare to our most vulnerable citizens.
- Immediately provide a Public Option.
- Immediately make subsidies more generous so enrollees can more easily afford their plans.
- Drug re importation
Access to healthcare is a human right. It is our duty to create a system that supports our fellow citizens.