Hispanics know that despite a lot of activity in Washington in recent years, it’s still hard to afford quality health care and health insurance. According to Gallup, the percentage of uninsured Hispanics is nearly four times greater than the percentage of Non-Hispanic white Americans. And more than one-quarter of Hispanics went without a health care visit over the course of a year, according to the Kaiser Family Foundation. Twenty-two percent of Hispanics went without care over the course of a year due to cost. That’s a sad situation. Simply put, health care remains an important challenge – despite implementation of the Affordable Care Act (or Obamacare), and despite massive federal spending on health insurance programs.
Americans should be able to receive the care they need, when they need it, at competitive prices. Out-of-pocket costs should not be a prohibitive barrier to receiving medical care and maintaining a healthy well-being.
To that end, health care reform should be focused on improving choice in health care, and promoting competition that gives people a range of options at competitive prices – and not just spending more taxpayer dollars to increase access to insurance that does not offer the benefits that people want. America needs to focus on expanding care, improving quality, and lowering costs for all Americans, as well as encouraging innovation that can improve the very nature of the health care system.
America’s health care system faces serious challenges, but current proposals to improve it incorrectly focus on universal insurance coverage rather than on improving health outcomes, and excessively consolidates too many of our healthcare decisions under the authority of the Federal government. Health care should emphasize the overall well-being of an individual, with the goal of the health care system, simply, healthier people. Mandating everyone purchase insurance does little to ensure they can access quality care when they need to – or be able to afford it.
To improve the health care system, we need to enact targeted legislation that solves specific problems with patient-centered solutions – from expediting the approval of medicines to allowing medical professionals to practice to the full extent of their training to encouraging competition and innovation and fostering greater implementation of current technology. These reforms will expand access to medical care, so more people have the options to be seen and costs are lowered, as well as transition health care decisions back to patients and their doctors.