Affordable Care Act
Posted on Nov 27th 2012
On Tuesday November 13, 2012, Alabama Governor Robert Bentley stated his intent not to support the Affordable Care Act due to his personal “difference of philosophy” with President Obama’s Health Care law, not “politics.” The political reality of not supporting the Affordable Care Act is to continue to ignore the needs of citizens of Alabama.
The two rejected provisions of the health care law are to create a state health insurance exchange for people to make choices among providers and benefits; and the other would expand the Medicaid program for low-income citizens with the aid of federal funds.
The Alabama State Conference of the NAACP is disheartened by the Governor’s stance on this critical issue to the health and welfare of Alabamians. The Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation estimated that up to 351,000 Alabamians could benefit by gaining insurance for themselves and their families. This number includes citizens who work for minimum wages or low wages and cannot afford insurance. The law also includes those workers who are younger than 65 years of age; possibly indicating a good percentage of the coverage citizens would be selecting would be preventative. These citizens pay taxes out of their wages, yet their health care needs, as with other needs, seems to be of little importance to the political leaders who receive health care at the tax-payer’s expense. Alabama’s cost to insure these citizens would be minimal and would be a good investment for the citizens of this state…an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. The NAACP requests that the Governor reconsider his position and do the right thing to move Alabama forward in health care as well as other areas. As a medical professional, Governor Bentley is surely aware of the benefits to citizens and to health care providers across the state. Governor Bentley should comply with federal law and implement the Affordable Care Act for the state of Alabama.
The fact that Alabama continues to insist on keeping its citizens poor, uneducated, and on the bottom of the health ladder is unconscionable. As citizens, we should remember these facts when we vote for leaders in Alabama. All citizens contribute to the success of Alabama, and all citizens should reap benefits which help them to sustain their lives, up to and including, affordable health care.