The ACA = "Obamacare"

From its inception, and more so lately, the ACA ("Obamacare") has been the subject of hysterical, stereotypical outrage and criticism by Republicans and their fellow obstructionists.

There is no question that the ACA is flawed. Painfully so. It needs major changes and revisions. But all along its concept and purpose have been correct-- access to decent medical care guaranteed to all, regardless of employment status, age, and/or pre-existing conditions. Proper medical care for all should be a mandate for any society that aspires to be rational and humane. Presumably, our's does so.

The problem is that the ACA relies on funding that involves the proprietary for-profit medical insurance industry, rather than the individual income tax system. This sets up multiple distortions for an "industry" that should function as a societal obligation rather than as a conventional business beholden to shareholders and corporate executives.

I give tremendous credit to Obama and his administration that they did not run away from the problem of healthcare access, as did all previous administrations. No one thinks the current ACA should be concretized as is. It needs a lot of work. But there is nothing sinister about its creation or current challenges. The raging Republicans should pitch in and try to help correct the problems. (I would like to think that under Hillary that will happen.)

The medical literature has been all along overwhelmingly positive about the ACA, even with its shortcomings. Virtually all the top academic U.S. physicians and medical institutions have praised its good points. Millions have received care that would not have been available to them without the ACA. With the ACA in place, physicians and institutions that deal with multiple disadvantaged populations have been relieved of the burden to scramble around to find the resources necessary to care for their patients.

Obama and the administration were obviously overly optimistic at the time of the ACA's origin that consumers of health care, physicians, and insurance companies would exercise restraint and good judgment to keep costs down. Clearly, all parties have failed to do those things, as it appears that profiteering, greed, and stupidity are just as much a part of medicine as they are for much of the rest of our US society's endeavors.

So let's fix the ACA. Even overhaul it if necessary. But to say that it has been an evil conspiracy of Obama and "liberals" is ridiculous.

www.eligoodmanmd.com

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