Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Two very important things

With the new Healthcare Reform Act (or the official name Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act - PPCA Act) now law, and much to the chagrin of the opponents on both sides, those who falsely call it government run healthcare - it's not by any stretch of the imagination and those who, like me, wanted more - like the public option, it will be with us for years to come, albeit with some tinkering down the road.

Like it or not, it's here to stay and I will argue for it to be more inclusive and more mandatory with ways to help those who can't afford good health insurance or healthcare pay for it. It's good government and good public service. I still want the public option to compete with companies. Without it, they'll only charge more for more coverage with more rules to lessen the financial burden on them.

And as we're seeing with the mandate in a legal war with the opponents and with the states opting out of the "risk" pools, the Act didn't go far enough to impose mandates to the states to comply and provide common rules for these pools. Several states, those with Republican governors, have said they won't plan to consider it let alone offer it.

And so in the end still a significant percentage of the American people won't get health insurance and will get their healthcare from hospitals and emergency clinics at public expense. That's not good government or good public work. We need to ensure everyone has access to good affordable healthcare whether it's a private or government insurance plan. Spread the financial burden where it belongs than the public.

But that's not my point here. It's two things I want to see expanded, women's healthcare and end-of-live care. Both of these are essential to Americans. The first isn't just for women, but their family and friends. The effects of an unwanted pregnancy last a long time but an unwanted child last a lifetime. Women need all the available help and services with the reproductive system and healthcare.

And eveyone will die, many at the end of a long period of illness and disease which only leads to one thing, death. They need all the available help and service to ensure the decisions about their live and the end of life is humane for them and their family and friends. End of life effects everyone around them, let's make sure it's the best care for them and eveyone around them.

That's it. We all have our issues with the new Healthcare Reform Act. Now rather than repeal it or undo, let's work to make it better for everyone. We've started down the road to that goal, let's keep going.

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