Dr. Elaina George writes, “The passage of the Republican tax reform bill with the removal of the mandate is a win for the American patient and doctor. Since the passage of the Affordable Care Act there has been a steady unraveling of the American healthcare system. There has been a loss of access to healthcare for those who live in rural areas and those who are underserved in cities; the middle and working class have been priced out by high insurance premiums and the exponential rise in out of pocket costs; there has been a devastating loss of independent physicians (now accounting for only 30% of practicing physicians); and has been a steady rise in the consolidation of corporate hospital systems and medical insurance companies. Each change has caused a decrease in choice with a resultant rise in cost leading to the all too familiar ‘too big to fail’ phenomenon. The removal of the mandate allows those who cannot afford to purchase a product or those who have purchased a product that they don’t need or want to be free to find healthcare coverage that will work for them. The best part about the law is a change in a direction that respects the individual. If you like the ACA you can keep it, but if you don’t like it you will no longer be penalized. This one change will allow consumer driven healthcare to thrive and encourage the market create products that will benefit the patient. The argument that the ACA has increased access has been disingenuous. After the passage it became obvious that the promises made were never going to be kept.”
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