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Health Care for All
I’m guessing I was not the only one who was moved this morning when the Supreme Court ruled in favor of the people instead of politics (actually, I know I wasn’t!). I'm grateful that our nation has taken another step toward no longer tolerating the suffering and inequities brought on by a broken health care system.
I have spent my entire career working in the safety net, serving people who are either uninsured or underinsured and have witnessed with frustration how we’ve failed as a nation to care adequately for those most in need. But today’s court decision brings us ever closer to a nation where everyone has access to the health care they need and deserve.
Though today is a time for celebration, there is as much work and challenge ahead as there is opportunity. The court’s decision could allow states the choice to participate in the Affordable Care Act’s (ACA) expansion of Medicaid coverage. The ability to “opt out” of Medicaid expansion could leave many of our nation’s most vulnerable people without access to health care. It’s important to recognize where we are in this movement toward a reformed health care system. Washington has once again stepped forward and preserved the possibility of a nation where the promise of health is equally distributed. Now it’s our turn to renew our efforts to improve the patient experience of care (including quality and satisfaction); improve the health of the populations; and reduce the cost of health care.
We have already taken many important steps in health reform. We are expanding health coverage through our Contra Costa Health Plan. We have improvement efforts under way across our delivery system. Together, in partnership with those we serve, we provide quality care to all people in Contra Costa County with special attention to those who are most vulnerable to health problems. We continue to meet our responsibility to engage as active members of America’s Health Care Safety Net and as participants in the nation’s movement toward reformed health care.
It's true that we have many challenges before us. Yet I don't see the imperative to reform our health system as a burden, but rather a privilege. It's the commitment to service, and the skill and spirit I encounter every day working on the Contra Costa team that has convinced me beyond any doubt that no matter what lies ahead, health care for all is within our reach.
More very soon,