With the approaching Supreme Court showdown on the President Obama's 2010 health care law (the Affordable Care Act, modeled, of course, on Mitt Romney's law in Massachusetts), the U.S. healthcare system remains a dysfunctional mess, as nurses bear witness to every day.
In late March, the Court will devote six hours over three days to oral arguments on the legal challenges to the law -- the most time the Court has given a case in 56 years. The testimony will likely be accompanied by a possible record 100 "friend of the court" briefs, Kaiser Health News reported February 16.
While the ACA had some undeniable positive elements, such as permitting young adults up to age 26 to remain on their parents health plan, and a few limitations on insurance industry abuses, such as barring them from denying coverage due to pre-existing conditions, our health care nightmare is far from over.
And, as nurses have reported repeatedly the past year, the economic crisis has great aggravated the suffering with broad declines in health status that are directly linked to job loss, unpayable medical bills, and families having to choose between paying for food, housing, clothing or healthcare.
As to the law itself, despite its name the ACA has done little to actually make healthcare affordable. Out of pocket health costs for families continue to soar largely unabated. Nurses now routinely see patients who have postponed needed care, sometimes even life-saving or life-prolonging care, because of the co-pays and deductibles.Rose Ann DeMoro is the Executive Director of the National Nurses United, AFL-CIO and California Nurses Association. Use the link to read more.
I've been exchanging e-mails with two readers about ObamaCare and DeMoro's piece addresses the points I've been making. Again, Mitt Romney was our governor. So I was used to this game already.
The only way people are going to have health care is to have universal, single-payer health care. The easiest way to do that is to start expanding Medicare.
Don't create a new program, just drop the age for Medicare.
You are not going to provide health care by letting the insurance companies dictate the terms. They need to be taken out of the equation.
This is C.I.'s "Iraq snapshot" for Wednesday: