Patient Centered Healthcare
The giddy Republican Congressional majority are racing to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act. Strangely, for reasons this majority does not discuss, there is an amazing vagueness about what steps with which Republicans will propose to replace Obamacare.
There is, however, no absence of slogans and unsubstantiated claims. Hmmm.
Ask any Republican spokesperson about Obamacare and you will hear “its a disaster, Americans overwhelmingly are against it”. When this spokesperson is asked, “don’t most people like the features such as coverage for pre-existing conditions, no limits on lifetime benefits, and keeping children on parent’s policies until age 26”, the answer is yes but “Americans are mad about “not keeping their doctor”, premium increases, often having to find a new insurance carrier every year and having to buy more insurance than they want”. Hmmm.
So the question arises, what Republican proposal can satisfy the “likes” and rectify the “dislikes”? Oh, and did I mention that there are an estimated 20 million more Americans receiving healthcare coverage with the Affordable Care Act than before?
One slogan which rolls effortlessly off Republicans’ tongue is the replacement proposal will be “Patient Centered” not “Washington Centered”. I wonder what that means?
The Institute of Medicine defines the term as follows, “Providing care that is respectful of, and responsive to, individual patient preferences, needs and values, and ensuring that patient values guide all clinical decisions.”
Doesn’t this sound like an approach everyone would want? I wonder what Republicans find about Obamacare that violates this definition?
One has to look into who the 20 million Americans now able to get healthcare coverage with Obamacare. Estimates indicate that 11 million receive expanded Medicaid benefits, 2-3 million are under 26 on parent’s policies, and the remainder is composed of those with pre-existing conditions, those working in businesses which do not offer healthcare coverage, and self employed proprietors.
In general, Obamacare is aimed at those who were either denied healthcare insurance or those who could not afford what was available from insurers. Hmmm.
So, what does “Patient Centered” have to do with anything? This slogan while originally intended to be purposeful, has been hijacked by Republican spin masters to suggest the Affordable Care Act is in conflict with Patient Centered Healthcare.
Clearly Obamacare is compatible with Patient Centered care since the 20 million now receiving healthcare coverage had nothing before. The real issue is economic.
As President Obama said recently, if Republicans can offer a better approach to insuring these 20 million Americans covered under Obamacare, he would support their proposal.
Imagine Barack Obama cheering for Republican-care. Or, it might be easier to imagine pigs flying.