By far the biggest news last week was the US Supreme Court's ruling to uphold President Obama's Affordable Care Act. Citizens, health care providers, insurers , business owners and policy makers are now assessing the Act's implications for them.
Beyond this law's huge political ramifications lies the bare fact that millions in our country are uninsured or underinsured, particularly the working poor. South Carolina alone has close to one million residents without health insurance , but our state officials have pledged to opt out of the extended Medicare provision of this plan due to future costs anticipated for the program. Unless some measures are taken to provide better access to health care and preventative services, our state's uninsured population will continue to clog emergency rooms and rack up millions in unpaid medical expense. To simply ignore the problem is not the answer.
Among industrialized nations, the US health system ranks well below our peers who see health care not as a privilege, but a right. As politically polarizing as The Affordable Care Act is, in recent weeks surveys have shown that the majority of Americans want some form of health care reform. If it's not this law, it better be something.