Martin Luther King Jr. on Healthcare Injustice

As someone who has worked at a Community Health Center since before the implementation of the ACA, I recognize how many people have benefitted from it.  In Ohio, with the expansion of Medicaid many people were able to obtain help that previously hadn’t been able to.  I have had patients have cancers detected and treated, and hypertension brought down from dangerous levels due to having access to health care. On the other hand,  I have also seen people get health insurance through the marketplace and end up with plans that are essentially worthless – they may be paying $1000/mo or more for a plan that they then can’t afford to use. That doesn’t really help them get health care – it helps them have insurance.  There is a big difference between having health insurance and having health care.  I do believe that access to health care is a basic right and it should be available to all.  Direct Primary Care may be one answer – if someone can pay 50-75/mo for a monthly fee, they may be able to have their primary care needs met and be less likely to have to end up in the ER.  If someone has low enough income where they really CAN’T afford it and would qualify for Medicaid – Medicaid could help fund a HSA for patients – like some employers do currently – and patients could use that money to purchase care through DPC offices or other health care needs.  I hope that whatever this next government decides to do, it will keep the parts about not excluding people with pre-existing conditions and letting young adults stay on their parents health insurance.  It’s still really hard for me to believe that a nation that has as many resources as the United States, hasn’t been able to figure out a way to make sure that people’s basic needs are taken care of.  We need a system where patients have the freedom to choose their care, and physicians aren’t expected to sacrifice their physical/emotional well-being to take care of others.  The system is broken with or without Obamacare.  I don’t know what the answer is,  I just hope that things don’t get worse.  I pray that our elected leaders hold love and compassion for others in their souls, and that their motives are true as they move forward with changing/repealing/replacing the Affordable Care Act.

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