Health Care Committee Report

So the Affordable Care Act is going to be repealed. That is one of the goals of the new leadership in the Congress. And if news reports are correct, many in the country would support repeal

But, repeal will not come about. The Affordable Care Act has already does too much good and promises so much more that states and providers as well as consumers will not give it up. Pieces will be attacked and perhaps lost but health reform is here to stay. Also, the President does has veto power

Remember that health care reform was demanded because:

  • the cost of insurance was escalating, (and is still escalating)
  • employers were increasingly dropping healthcare as a benefit,
  • insurance companies were dropping or denying coverage and
  • there were some 47 million Americans with no financial access to care.

There were 59 million Americans in the first quarter of 2010 who had no health coverage at some point in 2009 (cf CDC report 11/11/2010); 30.4 million had gone without coverage for over 12 months. The need for major changes in our health care system continues to grow.

Even with Michigan's Attorney General suing to hold the ACA unconstitutional, Michigan's Public Health Department is preparing to implement the ACA. This is a monumental task which will include merging some 400,000 persons into the expanded Medicaid program by 2014. Currently new computer programs are being developed, exchanges to assist applicants in their choice of policy and many other aspects of the ACA are being designed.

MCCG has been a part of the formation of a statewide coalition to give patients, consumers of health care a voice in this developmental process. Rest assured that all the good folks who provide health care to us are making their voices heard, from those who make the wheelchairs to the surgeons, all are protecting their interests. To balance this pressure the Michigan Consumers for Healthcare Advancement Coalition is being formed with the guidance of the Michigan League for Human Services.The objective of this Coalition is to bring an informed and coordinated voice of the health care consumer to the implementation of affordable health care in Michigan.

Why Catholics Should Support the Affordable Care Act

Catholic Social Teaching provides a complete presentation of our Catholic tradition. This tradition says this about the common good: 'Common Good is the whole network of social conditions which enable human individuals and groups to flourish and live a fully, genuinely human life. All are responsible for all." Public authorities have the common good as their prime responsibility.

the ACA is a major contribution to the good of the whole society, to the common good. Over the next few years the ACA will expand access to affordable, quality health care for millions(50.7) of uninsured Americans. The ACA will:

  • 1) Prohibit discrimination against people with pre-existing conditions or who are sick.
  • 2) Require more people to buy affordable insurance or pay a tax, therefore creating a larger insurance pool.
  • 3) Make insurance more affordable by providing sliding scale subsides.

There are many distortions of facts abut the ACA. These distortions are either deliberate or the result of misinformation. One such distortion is that the ACA will cost jobs. In fact, the ACA may not cause a lost of jobs, but it may cause a redistribution of jobs. More doctors, nurses, therapists, etc. will be needed.

Another distortion is that the ACA will deny religious freedom by offering coverage for contraception. It is only fair that Catholic organizations offer this coverage to employees who are not Catholic.

Another distortion is that many people (225,000 in Michigan) lost their coverage because of the ACA. Actually insurance companies canceled those policies because they did not meet the standards set by the ACA. Many of those people could have gotten better policies by exploring the variety of complying policies and the possibility of subsides for those policies.