Forum Left, 7/3

 Victory is Yours

By Jolene Pohl

The only victors of the Affordable Care Act Supreme Court decision are you and your family. If you are suffering with an illness and loss of income or are afraid of ever getting sick, which contrary to Republican idealism, actually does occur and can become very costly, then the supporters of the ACA have made your life exponentially less stressful. This is not about politics except that a number of politicians have their hands so far in the money jar within the health care industry that they would rather your family suffer than admit that reform was absolutely necessary. The growing cost of premiums has now come to an end. The lack of accountability by insurance companies to raise premiums or deny coverage to individuals is over. This is not a difficult moment to celebrate, unless you have been programmed to think that a self-loathing attitude is the route to take in life because a few billionaires told you taxes would increase if you asked for the care you paid for.

The bottom-line is that our population is in need of a serious overhaul of preventative medicine and access to affordable care. The politicians can fight about it all day in Washington then come to Dayton to tell you that they did the best they could but your medical bills are just not their number one concern. Enough is enough. Liberal or conservative, blue or red it doesn’t matter when it comes to health problems. Our well-being is not for profit. The Affordable Care Act was voted through in a bi-partisan session in Congress. The talk of repeal is unbelievably ludicrous and, quite frankly, so was the questioning of the constitutionality of the ACA. It is evident now that taking it to the SCOTUS was indeed grandstanding by those who claim to want government out of the way of the will of the people. Chief Justice John Roberts apparently agrees with this sentiment in his statement, “Resolving this controversy requires us to examine both the limits of the government’s power and our own limited role in policing these boundaries.”

The will of the people is what inspired the reform. Since the nineties when then-First Lady Hillary Clinton bravely stood before Congress to challenge a growing bubble of health insurance profiteers, the health care crisis has not disappeared. Ignoring constituents’ needs has always been the Republicans short-coming but then again most of their representatives are vetted by health insurance lobbyists to look the other way. Not that the Democrats are any more innocent of banking on lobbying money. The ACA could be a lot stronger for patients but the money that has infiltrated our legislative branch is pervasive.

Here is what has been accomplished with the ACA: first, a reality check written by local surgeon, Doctor Donald Nguyen, who has been an activist leader in Doctors for America. He passionately said “Long gone are the days of my precious baby patients who were born with a pre-natal diagnosis of a congenital anomaly, ending up without insurance coverage because the condition was deemed pre-existing. It took the Supreme Court that much time to re-assure me that the law will not be repealed and that, as a nation, we will not move backward.” The lies that the conservative party are spreading are quickly entering common conversation, such as that the law will have no real effect on patients until 2014. This is not the case, clearly, when surgeons are breathing a sigh of relief that the life they are trying to save is truly protected.

Second, the majority of the money you spend on your health insurance must be used for your care. The justification for raising your premiums must also be reviewed thoroughly. No more surprises when it comes to budgeting your family’s future. In addition, preventative care is free for prenatal screenings, mammograms and colonoscopies. If there is something that the politicians have to say about denying health care to the people that pay for it on their own I would love to see that discussion.

The time for bickering is over. The conservatives, Republican, Libertarian, etc. proponents have lost the chance to contribute to a logical solution to the crushing costs of health care in our country and it has wasted a lot of time while patients suffer. The compromise made by Congress to pass the ACA was not manipulated by President Barack H. Obama, which is a fantasy of the cynics. Congress knew it had to act quickly or everyone in Washington would be out of a re-election bid. Those who stood in the way will be remembered.

It’s time to move forward. Let’s see what we can begin to fix next.

Jolene Pohl is a dedicated Dayton democrat volunteer/activist and a WSU grad student. Her favorite past-times include banter, debate and laughing out loud. She can be reached at JolenePohl@DaytonCityPaper.com.

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Current Graduate student at Wright State University. I should finish a Master's of Humanities by fall 2012. I am originally from Cleveland, Ohio but my heart belongs with half of my family in New Mexico! "We are only as strong as the weakest link." You can follow me on Facebook, Twitter @DemWSU AND Google+

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