Jonathan Gruber, an economist at Massachusetts Institute of Technology who served as an advisor for both the Massachusetts and national healthcare reform bills, recently posted a video that through the use of simple narration and illustration aims to explain the Affordable Care Act (ACA) and healthcare reform in a way that everyone can understand.
The Affordable Care Act legislation has been called “A Thing of Majesty” by Dr. Donald Berwick, former administrator of the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, and I agree. The problem is a majority of the American people don’t know anything about this law, and don’t know anything about the problems this law is trying to fix.
I encourage you to take a few minutes to watch Mr. Gruber’s "Illustrating the Success of Health Care Reform" video http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IF8SiN8Bbh0. Gruber cites a “crisis in American health care now” and I agree. The video does an excellent job of explaining what the ACA will do:
- Make insurance affordable and provide insurance coverage for an additional 32 million Americans
- Eliminate discrimination against the sick and denial of coverage for pre-existing conditions
- Control health costs by establishing healthcare exchanges
- Reduce the deficit
Gruber makes a point of explaining that the ACA is not a government takeover of insurance, but rather is an expansion of private insurance. He notes the ACS does not force Americans to buy insurance they can’t afford and in fact includes an “affordability exemption” so no individual has to pay more than eight percent of their income for insurance.
We need more tools like this video to better educate our people on what the problems are with the present system because really smart people are fighting against the act without knowing what’s in it or even worse without knowing about the problems that it is trying to fix!
Everyone is entitled to their opinion. It really isn’t about politics. It’s about the huge burden that our present health care system places on our citizens, on our employers and small business owners and on our economy. Let’s at least understand what the issues are and then have an agreement that we’ll try to work together to find solutions.
What ideas do you have for how we can educate Americans on the burdens created by our current healthcare system? Please share your thoughts below.
Independent of what is going on in our healthcare market I want to remind people that GBMC has been a fixture in this community for more than 45 years. We will continue our work to be the health care system that treats everyone, every time, the way that we would want our own loved ones treated. United with our private practicing and employed physicians, we will continue to serve the people of Towson and the region and drive ever-increasing value for those seeking their healthcare from us.
Great healthcare systems are not measured by the number of hospitals or buildings they own or the age or beauty of their physical plants. They are measured on what they achieve for the patients they serve. Therefore, our work for better health outcomes, better care experience, at lower cost and with more joy for those providing the care will continue with an increased fervor.
While we have not yet reached perfection, I want to share highlights of an email I received from a GBMC employee and some exciting news we received about how the hospital compares nationally with our peers.
Last Friday I was looking for a Raven's t-shirt in a local store. I was wearing my GBMC Emergency Department fleece jacket, with my name. I was talking with another girl that was also shopping for Ravens gear, although she was looking at the jerseys. I had mentioned how nice they were and that I had never owned one. She said she had many and found them to be good luck. As I was talking with the girl, there was a merchandise supplier standing close by who kept looking at me and looking at my jacket. He approached me and said, "So, you like those jerseys? You work for GBMC's ER?" I replied, "Yes, they're great and I have worked in the ER for almost 9 years." The man became a little emotional and said to me, "You guys saved my mother's life. Just before Christmas my mother was in heart block and your ER caught it, cared for her and got her off to be stented. Because of your wonderful staff, my family and I were fortunate to spend another Christmas with my mother. I cannot thank GBMC's ER enough for everything they've done for my mother and my family." It took everything to hold the tears back, and maybe one or two slipped out.
This man told our colleague of an episode where we had treated his mother the way we would want our own loved one treated. Way to go ED staff!
Finally, I’m proud to report that GBMC is one of 263 hospitals that ranked among the top five percent of the nation's hospitals, according to a survey by HealthGrades, a consumer group which tracks information on hospitals and doctors. The survey, which reports Baltimore-area hospitals provide the best patient care in the country, looked at clinical outcomes across 26 of the most common diagnoses and procedures. Go and look at the hospitals that HealthGrades says are making Baltimore the best city in the country to get care…..you may be surprised. You can read more in the Baltimore Sun.