ACA will benefit Alabama

State Attorney General Luther Strange is complaining about the Affordable Care Act to anyone who will listen.
It is a huge piece of legislation that was the result of multiple compromises, so it will need some revisions. Some problems already have been fixed administratively; others will need Congressional action.
The decision on whether the act will be fully implemented in 2014, of course, has nothing to do with Strange. It lies solely with the U.S. Supreme Court. His continued complaints are a political tactic.
Strange’s main gripe is a common one.
“If the federal government can mandate what we have to spend money on, then the federal government can make us buy something even if we are morally opposed to it,” Strange wrote.
Both the state and federal government, however, routinely tell us what we must spend money on.
The state forces us to pay taxes and fees, even though many of us are morally opposed to the fact that those taxes are being used to finance litigation that would prevent the poorest Alabamians from accessing health care. The state requires us to buy liability insurance if we own a car, a necessity for many Alabamians.
The federal government requires participation in the Social Security system. It forces its citizens to pay taxes to finance morally questionable wars that kill people, whereas the Affordable Care Act mandates expenditures that would save lives.
Strange and other opponents of the law suggest such mandates would be abhorrent to the Founding Fathers. Yet in 1792, Congress required all able-bodied citizens to obtain firearms. In 1798, Congress required seamen to pay the government for hospitalization benefits.
The law is not perfect, but in Alabama especially we should pay attention to its benefits. Because of limited access to health care, Alabama has the third highest infant mortality rate in the nation. One in five Alabamians has no health insurance and essentially no access to preventive care, a number that is growing as more employers drop health insurance as a benefit.
Is it a perfect law? No. In Alabama more than most states, though, it’s a step in the right direction.


1 Comment

Filed under Alabama politics, Health care, Obamacare

One response to “ACA will benefit Alabama

  1. lee mccain

    Eric, I am not sure infant mortality should be a point and in fact your argument using this is misguided. All Alabamians do receive prenatal care through Sobra Medicaid now. There is absolutely no limited access to prenatal care in this state for low to no income patients. Middle class income without insurance is another story. Infant mortality here reflects Alabama’s poverty and demographics, not access to care.
    ACA has many provisions which I think are needed but ultimately much of the cost will bankrupt our state. Personally I am trying to get out of seeing anyone with government sponsored insurance because the costs of administering care with the bureaucracy involved versus the reimbursement has become a money losing proposition. Universal coverage will not increase access to care.

    This is the absolute best article on the subject I have read ironically enough sent to me by a local lawyer

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