Hospitals nationwide, including Wenatchee, Seattle, Denver, Arkansas and Kentucky are gaining income because they’re serving more insured patients under the affordable care act. Douglas, Chelan and Okanogan counties are serving 12,000 new enrollees in Washington’s Health Benefit Exchange, according to Patrick Jones, from the Chelan-Douglas Trends data source.
The ACA sounds profitable and the faith community is calling it moral, a surprising contrast to the doomsday prophesy of a government takeover of medical care.
The health care revolution has had glitches, and the Washington State exchange is still frustrating people who have problems processing claims in specific insurance programs. But overall, Washington has enrolled 300,000 people.
Positive experiences in other states are knocking opponents off their unequivocal opposition. Republican Kentucky Senator Rand Paul has altered his stance since over 400,000 enrollees like the law. “I think the real question that we have in Kentucky is people seem to be very much complementing our exchange because of the functionality of it,” he said.
Paul is saying Kentucky’s Exchange could be continued, even though he still wants to “repeal all of Obamacare.” That’ll be a clumsy misstep to execute in elections, but every politician keeps dancing when their voters change the tune.
Arkansas’ GOP-dominated legislators were in tune with Health and Human Services to design a customized system that significantly reduced the number of uninsured patients in emergency rooms. In Polk County, patient levels dropped from 300 per month to three at a rural health program serving a low-income population. The clinic closed in April. “Our services won’t be needed anymore, and this will conclude our mission,” said the thankful clinic director Stacey Bowser.
Mission failure closed rural hospitals in Tennessee, Georgia, Virginia and North Carolina. Their legislators refused Medicaid coverage, depriving doctors and nurses of Medicaid income. People lost emergency medical care instead of gaining expanded services with preventative care they are entitled to under the new law.
Republicans nationwide rightly blame ObamaCare for causing cancellations of insurance policies and higher rates. Yet Republican-dominated states have denied health insurance and medical services for their own residents even though the new law would pay for 100 percent of Medicaid expenses for three years and 90 percent of the costs afterward.
Now Republicans are facing criticisms organized by Faith in Public Life, “a strategy center for the faith community.”
Sister Carol Keehan, the CEO of the national Catholic Health Association hospitals said, “It’s so irresponsible and so uncaring for the people that live side by side with us in our communities. To say that we’re not going to do it because of a political agenda, or to prove that a program is a failure is absolutely frustrating, and a failure in the worst way.”
Missouri denied Medicaid for their residents, upsetting Rev. Susan McCann, an Episcopal cleric in Liberty, MO. She said “Expanding Medicaid would reach 300,000 people in Missouri who not only need, but deserve Medicaid. People forget, and this is painfully ironic, that the Missouri state motto is, ‘The welfare of the people should be the supreme law.’”
Theoretically though not theologically, Missouri Republicans could claim the Supreme Court granted states the right to deny expanded medical care under Medicaid.
Are Republicans going to claim Missouri’s new motto is, ‘The right to deny welfare of the people is the supreme law?’
Rev. Norman Wilson from Orlando, Florida would object. “This is a moral issue. This isn’t a political issue. This is about helping people. One thing that is clear in the Bible is Jesus was in the health care business.”
I suppose Republicans could claim Jesus is not on call for medical care anymore, but isn’t the Bible also clear that Jesus asked us to do his work after He left?
Expanding medical care reform is proving to be profitable and moral. Watching opponents dance around those realities should make the upcoming election entertaining.