Unfortunately, in the arena of healthcare, this seems to be the attitude most of us adopt, which amounts to crossed fingers, gritted teeth, and a lot of Americans with eyes squeezed shut, hoping really hard that nothing bad happens.
I recognize there are controversial measures in the Affordable Care Act. The most striking deficit, in my opinion, is the absence of a conscience clause for providers. But just as the leading Catholicauthority in the U.S. has not supported a complete repeal of the law, neither do I.
I believe the legislation for healthcare reform is a step in the right direction. (Ouch -- just got hit by the flaming dart arrows fired from the appalled consciences of many friends.)
To this point, health insurance has been unaffordable. However, only the independently wealthy can financially handle a medical catastrophe without health insurance. Nonetheless, hospitals are required to treat patients with life-threatening conditions (albeit the care is crap, sufficient only to push them through the exit doors, to be pursued by a relentless mob of collection agencies). I’ll go out on a limb here, but suffice it to say, I think everyone would be better off with health insurance.
Still, there are many Americans who work incredibly hard, often self-employed or at multiple jobs, for whom the holy grail of employer-sponsored healthcare is not available. (My family’s included in this group.) For this group, it’s not possible to pay out-of-pocket for anything other than the most basic wellness care, without financial assistance.
I can only yell so loudly about my right to life and liberty, without wondering if there should be some provision for the quality of this life. I’m not advocating Mercedes for all, or streaming cable television to every home. But is the right to life that our founders envisioned only a guarantee to continue breathing on American soil? (As long as you don’t have asthma. Then your right to breathe is contingent on your ability to afford the diagnosis and prescription.)
Seriously though, our inaction on healthcare reform is only perpetrating the status quo of quality healthcare for a privileged elite, substandard provisions for the most impoverished, and anyone in between settling for lack of care or medical bankruptcy.
In my opinion, the individual mandate that’s such a contested part of the Affordable Care Act, just might be a solution.