As the election nears, the campaign ads, slogans, and political rhetoric continue to heat up. One issue that seems to get discussed more than others is "healthcare." It should be obvious to everyone that once the United States Supreme Court ruled that the Affordable Care Act (ACA) was law, states would try to make it work for their citizens. There are many positive aspects of the Affordable Care Act (sometimes called "Obamacare") that are already helping millions of people. For example, this act prohibits denying coverage for people with preexisting conditions and allows children up to the age of twenty-six to remain on their parents' insurance coverage.
Here in Minnesota, many may not be aware of the fact that the Affordable Care Act is already providing health care coverage for around 100,000 previously uninsured Minnesotans, thanks to Governor Dayton's approval of early enrollment. Additionally, many individuals and businesses have not as yet experienced the positive impact of the new law, much of which does not go into effect until 2014.
We realize that there are no easy, inexpensive solutions to this very complex and expensive part of our lives. But because Minnesota has always been a health care leader, it would be a huge step backwards if we didn't continue to lead in trying to find the best possible solution for providing health care for our citizens. We know that we all will have to share the cost one way or another.
So instead of trying to undermine health care for Minnesotans as well as all Americans, we should rather be embracing the Affordable Care Act. After all,
"...It's critical to insure more people in this country. It doesn't make sense to have 45 million people without insurance. It's not good for them because they don't get good preventative care and disease management.... But it's not good for the rest of the citizens either, because if people aren't insured, they go to the emergency room for their care when they get very sick. That's expensive. They don't have any insurance to cover it.... So guess who pays? Everybody else. So it's not good for the people that aren't insured. It's not goo for everyone else."
The author of this quote is none other than Mitt Romney. (August 5, 2007, Republican Presidential Debate, Des Moines, Iowa)