Healthcare Reform: Where Do We Go From Here?

Industry Insights from Paul Meade, M. Sc, MPH

Now that the mid-term election results are in and the US House of Representatives has changed hands, does this mean that there will be a reversal of all the healthcare reform initiatives put into place by the Obama administration? This country is in dire need of healthcare reform, and someone has to have the courage to “step up to the plate.”

To be sure, the initiatives put into effect by the current administration can be considered a good start, but more is needed to fix the situation. Unemployment is not diminishing as quickly as the press would have you believe. And what happens when COBRA runs out for all these unemployed people in America? Insurance companies, in anticipation of higher “medical loss ratios” –such a lovely term–have decided to raise premiums just to hedge their bets. As a result, we are headed into the “perfect storm.”

So with a change in the House, will the new majority try to block these initial changes to healthcare set in motion by the Obama Administration? Healthcare reform is badly needed in America, for all Americans. This is the one time we need bipartisan political support to give Americans a sound healthcare delivery system that is affordable for all. Using healthcare as a political football is just the wrong thing to do. Trying to score points for one’s political party by using healthcare as the sacrificial lamb is such a short-term gain for a long-term loss.

Let’s keep the momentum going. We need to keep our eye on the healthcare reform ball, and not be deterred by selfish political agendas. All Americans, regardless of political affiliations, can benefit from a healthcare system that is effective, efficient, and affordable. It’s time to stop using healthcare as an instrument for political gain, and focus on the real needs of the people in this country. The public’s health should be in the interest of every politician elected to office in this nation.

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