Support for ACA
As a U.S. citizen and naturopathic physician, I am grateful that the Supreme Court found the Affordable Care Act (ACA) constitutional. While not perfect, the ACA represents an important step forward in healing our broken health care system. Many who were not covered by health care insurance will now be covered. Many others of us who may have already had insurance will now have the benefit of increased access to care and improved quality of care.
The ACA supports public health and prevention of chronic disease and illness. It is innovative in health care delivery and payment systems. Most importantly, the ACA gives Americans control over our health care.
For example, the ACA allows for greater choice in health care providers — insurance benefits will cover licensed complementary and alternative medical (CAM) services, such as those provided by naturopathic physicians, chiropractors, acupuncturists, and massage therapists. The ACA accomplishes this through an expanded concept of patient wellness.
Although our current insurance plans may serve us in an emergency, we will also benefit from health care providers who can provide true primary prevention, wellness programs and also manage chronic diseases effectively.
The ACA introduces a new mindset for the evaluation of effective treatments, initiated through the Patient Centered Outcomes Research Institute (PCORI). The PCORI will be the federal government’s main treatment research body, looking at real world outcomes and clinically based outcomes, which are necessary to inform about the effectiveness of many CAM disciplines. This new research paradigm will serve to bridge the gap between conventional therapies and CAM therapies, and highlight CAM’s strengths.
From a cost perspective, the ACA will ensure that at least 80 percent of insurance premiums will be spent on actual health care, not CEO salaries or bureaucracy. Additional benefits will include rules that require free preventative-care checkups, allowing young adults to stay on parental health plans until age 26, prohibiting insurance companies from charging women more than men for care, and preventing insurance companies from excluding people with pre-existing conditions.
I believe the best solution to our health care crisis is a publicly financed, federally administered, privately delivered system of health care for all. We must continue to work towards this reality for our families and communities.
For these reasons, I chose to vote in the election on Nov. 6, and I voted in favor of candidates who support our right to full access to quality and affordable health care.
He ‘bought’ it
Congratulations, Billy Kenoi, for “buying” the mayoral election with other people’s money.
What a dark day for the people of Hawaii County.