“Reflecting on 10 Years of the ACA”
On the tenth anniversary of the ACA, many people are reflecting on its achievements and failures. While it is has certainly expanded insurance coverage, costs are still a major concern. At the same time, there are numerous stories about charities helping patients with medical debt relief. This debt leads to 60% of bankruptcies and most are under $5000 (sciencedirect.com). According to the Commonwealth Fund, middle-class Wisconsinites now spend 10.4% of their income on employer-sponsored health insurance in 2018. While this is below the national average of 11.5%, it can still be daunting for many families.
Ongoing discussions at the national level, which includes AAFP, have offered some solutions. AAFP advocates for full coverage for all primary care services. We also support Direct Primary Care, a model that involves patients paying their physicians directly for a defined set of services. Still others argue for a single payer health system. The board of WAFP addresses these issues as we work on our strategic goals. We know we must keep the patient as the focus and we often speak for organized medicine. Since 86% of us are employed, we need to influence our non-profit systems to care about our patients’ financial health. We can still be a voice of reason and most importantly, a voice for our patients. I encourage you to get involved with WAFP/AAFP and become a physician leader to learn more about these concerns and to be a part of the solutions.
As the incoming President, I look forward to the excited challenges ahead and count on your support. May 2020 be a happy and healthy New Year.
Sabina Singh, MD