Your Milwaukee Community Journal has supported the Affordable Health Care since its initiation because we believe it is in the best interest of our readers and the U.S. economy overall. When we see what lack of health care has wrought in premature deaths; over-burdened emergency rooms; limited regular access to follow-up; and the development of healthcare choices that potentially can reduce or eliminate statistical disparities that plague the African American communities throughout the country, we know we must support it. Take a look at our October 30 issue where we isolated a full page to navigating the Affordable Care Act web site. As you know, the president has been taking a lot of heat for the breakdowns of the website designed to allow individuals to sign-up for health insurance. He also bore the brunt of criticism for allegedly “lying” to the American people about being able to keep health insurance they already have. We believe the insurance companies should be coming forward with their failures on the backend portion of the website, as well, and they too owe the American people an apology. We believe the insurance companies could have easily adjusted pre-existing policies that would have allowed their policy holders to keep their insurance and not be unceremoniously dumped just because their policy supposedly didn’t meet the ACA’s criteria. Another group that should offer Mia Culpa’s (apologies) to the American people are Congressional Republicans who, since the president first initiated the idea of universal healthcare for Americans, have fought tooth-and-nail to keep it from passing several years ago. Their heartless shut down of the government made it virtually impossible for the Obama Administration and government monitors of the website to rectify the problems before they got out of hand. Thankfully, the country has already benefitted from the ACA. Even before the website was officially launched in October, the positive impact of the initiative could be seen. Insurance companies could no longer deny coverage to individuals with pre-existing conditions such as asthma, MS, leukemia, sickle cell disease, heart conditions, and high blood pressure. That major accomplishment—in and of itself—makes the president’s initiative already an overwhelming success. The Administration and the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, under the guidance of Secretary Kathleen Sebelius, are working hard to eliminate the bugs in the Marketplace enrollment website. Each day, more and more people are able to go to the site and sign-up without any problems. Healthcare and health advocacy organizations are working diligently to meet citizens where they are and explain the ACA’s benefits, help them navigate the website and enroll them onsite at various forums held around the city and Black community (and we’re sure around the nation) explaining the healthcare initiative and helping the uninsured and underinsured navigate the website and enroll them at various local enrollment sites we’ve been listing in the MCJ. Nothing is perfect…except the Almighty! Some Democratic Congressional legislators who have suddenly become weak at the knees in their support of the president and the ACA because of upcoming mid-term elections, should rediscover their collective backbones and support the president in this difficult time. Politically, Republicans should not be allowed to topple a historic piece of health legislation. They owe it to the president; and they owe it to the Americans people! Universal healthcare can still be a “win-win” for the American people. We will continue to heartily support the initiative.”
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