The Affordable Care Act is working. Let's help those who need it.
As Year 2 of Affordable Care Act enrollment gets underway, it's important to note that the law is largely working as intended, and sometimes even better than intended. The Incidental Economist notes the following:
Rates of uninsured persons are down. Millions of people are enrolling. The Congressional Budget Office thinks that it will cost less than they originally projected. The Massachusetts Mortality Study showed that RomneyCare, the ACA’s model, is improving health outcomes (see discussion by Austin here, here, and here; Adrianna here; and me [Bill Gardner] here, here, and here.)). And even Healthcare.gov seems to be working.
They go on to note that despite the law's successes, it still faces vehement opposition from many. This article is an interesting read to understand how our views are impacted by the media we consume, the groups we trust to give us accurate information, and how it lines up with our own preconceived ideas.
I find the Affordable Care Act to be well in line with the goals of many recent General Convention resolutions supporting health care access. We know that our churches and ministries have access to vulnerable populations who qualify for health insurance under the ACA but are highly susceptible to falling through the cracks and not getting registered.
My hope is that whether or not individuals agree with the law, they will acknowledge that many have an opportunity to obtain health insurance at an affordable rate, some for the first time. However, many will need help to navigate this complex terrain. Our health ministries in the Episcopal Church can be a valuable link in either helping them directly to sign up or in connecting them with appropriate resources.
The Affordable Care Act is working. Let's be sure we help those most in need to access health insurance, and by extension, health care in general.