Unless you have been spending your days with Matt Damon on Mars, you are aware that Congressional Republicans don’t think too highly of the Affordable Care Act, AKA “Obamacare.” They have voted 59 times to repeal it and, just in case you weren’t sure where they stood, this month was number 60. What was different this time is that it made it to the President’s desk, where in a move surprising no one, it was vetoed. Republican leaders stated that the point here was to show the public what could happen if they win the White House in November.
When Matt Bevin ran for the office of Governor of Kentucky, he promised to roll back the expansion of Medicaid in the state. I recently read an article about a cancer patient in Kentucky who had grave concerns about these potential changes to Medicaid. His quote, in fact, said he thought these rollbacks, might cost him his life. I was very empathetic until later in the article it noted the man had voted for Bevin because he felt policy issues other than healthcare were more important. Ultimately, Bevin was elected and now we must wait to see how his health policy will impact the people of Kentucky.
The future of health care is arguably one of the most important issues facing our nation. Costs are rising at an unsustainable rate and this could have a devastating effect on our economy. The demand will only increase as baby boomers reach the age range where they will have the greatest need for health care. Considering the bankruptcy rate for cancer patients is already double the national average, we must ask ourselves: what can we do to assure a cancer diagnosis doesn’t equal financial ruin and is our healthcare system taking this into consideration?