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Supreme Court Decision Moves Us Forward

The U.S. Supreme Court's ruling moves us forward in changing our health care system so that all Americans have access to quality, affordable health care.

Our government was established on a system of checks and balances, so that each branch can prevent overreach by the others.

The U.S. Supreme Court took a closer look at the Affordable Care Act and they found it to be constitutional. This ruling is important because it will help us move forward in changing our health care system to better ensure that all Americans have access to quality, affordable health care coverage and our businesses can better compete in the global marketplace. 

Our health care system was failing too many people for too long. The status quo wasn’t sustainable.  We had to do something to curb rising health care costs which were burdening family, business and government budgets alike. Our economic future depends upon our ability to get the fastest growing area of spending in check. 

The Affordable Care Act takes steps to address rising health care costs and gives us the opportunity to reform a health care system in desperate need of change. The bill was fully paid for and, according to the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office, through spending reductions and some revenue increases, reduces the budget deficit by $1.2 trillion over the next 20 years. 

As we implement the law, we can already see progress. In just the last two years: 

  • More than 39,000 children in western Wisconsin alone, who were previously denied coverage due to a pre-existing condition, now have health insurance 
  • 43,000 young adults in Wisconsin are covered under their parent’s plans
  • More than 60,000 Wisconsin seniors have lower prescription drug costs
  • 647,617 Wisconsin seniors on Medicare receive free preventive care
  • Small businesses and family farms qualify for tax credits for the health care they provide their workers

In the near future, more improvements will be seen, including:

  • Anyone with a pre-existing condition will no longer be discriminated against
  • If you get sick or injured, you cannot be dropped from coverage
  • If you suffer a catastrophic illness or injury, there are no lifetime limits on coverage
  • If you are a woman, you cannot be charged a higher premium
  • If you lose your job or want to start a business, you will have access to health care
  • If you are a small business, family farmer or individual, you will be able to buy coverage in a health insurance exchange from competing health plans coupled with tax credits to make it affordable

We have great models of care in Wisconsin that show us how to best reduce health care costs. They provide high quality care through coordinating that care, implementing health information technology, and using comparative effectiveness measures to ensure the best care for the best price.

We have to build on these models and change the way we pay for health care by rewarding quality care and not the amount of care given. There are tools in the Affordable Care Act we can use to help make this transition.  

The law isn’t perfect and we will need to make adjustments, but it takes significant steps to get costs under control and ensures important patient protections. I believe the Affordable Care Act was a necessary step to help get our economy back on track by making us more competitive globally and reducing future budget deficits.

To do that, we have to end the political war, find common ground, and make future changes as we learn more about what works and what doesn’t work in our health care system.  

This post is contributed by a community member. The views expressed in this blog are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Patch Media Corporation. Everyone is welcome to submit a post to Patch. If you'd like to post a blog, go here to get started.

Ed Larson July 20, 2012 at 03:37 PM
Yes, I know you hate the rich PB&J. /rollseyes Except of course for Buffet who also uses every chance he can get to avoid paying taxes. And Murtha is right. You wouldn't understand. If only you would acknowledge that there are far too many paying no income tax in the bottom 50% of earners. 98% of them pay no federal income tax. Yet they live in the same country as you do and receive the same benefits of being here.
Jim Bob July 20, 2012 at 04:45 PM
You're pretty simplistic about the tax discussion. I think there should be a fair and equitable tax code and you think I therefore hate the rich. Because I don't understand why the richest woman in Wisconsin doesn't pay income state income taxes doesn't mean I hate the rich. It's mean, from my perspective, there's a problem with the tax code. Why are there so many not paying taxes, when in 1984, the middle of the Reagan era, 85% of Americans paid federal income tax. What happen? Why did the number drop during the Reagan years? Pretty simple ain't Ed. If I don't agree with Ed on taxes, I hate the rich. If my opinion doesn't doetail with Ed's about ways to deal with politcal challenges, I must me a liberal or a progressive or socialism or whatever your putdown phrase of the week is. I know how bullies work. You don't have to agree with me Ed. Obviously, you have a hard time holding an adult conversative on complex subjects and default to the cheapshot talking points that dominate politcal urination fights today. You would with me over by insulting me. You'll actually make it less likiely I would serach for common ground in the compromises needed to solve these issues.
Ed Larson July 20, 2012 at 05:01 PM
PB&J, over and over again you have made clear that you are perfectly willing to tax the socks out of what you call "the rich" without defining who "the rich" are so I used Obama's definition. If you want to propose one more consistent with your views, please do so. I am desperately trying to pin you down but you keep squirting away in vague generalities and child like accusations. You cannot have an adult conversation when one side will not define what they mean by he terms they use. It's a trick politicians use all the time. Are you a politician? Reveal who you are and who you work for. Maybe then we will understand where you are coming from. You are stuck in your own paradigm. Reading your posts is like reading some liberal blog. Long on rhetoric and short on specifics. I see you are having trouble answering simple questions so there is not much to be gained by continuing this conversation. I thought we were close to common ground on the flat tax but even that degraded into a tax the rich whine by you. You can confiscate everything the so called 1% have and it would only take care of government spending for a very short time. Spending was, is and will remain the problem. I'm sorry but that's the way it is. Step back from the tax the rich slogan and figure out how to solve the overspending problem. Only then can progress be made.
Jim Bob July 20, 2012 at 05:50 PM
If a working for a fair and equitable tax code is another way of "confiscate everything the so called 1% have" and taxing the socks off the rich, than I stand convicted. As an ACORN-loving ecoterrorist, it's against my secular humanist religion to let facts get in the way of my opinions. My goal in life is to become an MSNBC host so I can get paid big money being an incoherent, government-bankrupting hypocrite. Perhaps, I will be able to make enough money to become a hope-hating fascist who can have the TEA Party build its bridge to the 11th century. Perhaps then, when I become anintolerant, fact-loathing gasbag you and I will be able to sit down, smoke big cigars and make fun to the less fortunate. Till then, may a commune of gay, Marxist Muslim illegal immigrants use your tax dollars to open a drive-thru abortion clinic in your church. You say I hate the rich. I say you love your country and hate 99% of the people who live here. Someday the slack-jawed, cave-dwelling sociopaths of the TEA Party might get their way, before I let that happen I'll scoop my eyes out with a melon baller and try to lock you pajama-clad, basement-dwelling cyber jihadists in your basements. Ed, have a nice weekend...
Ed Larson July 20, 2012 at 06:16 PM
Poor Pb&J. He has totally lost it when confronted with facts. Thanks for your contribution and all the laughs. Better luck next time ;-)

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