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    Evaluating the realities of the Affordable Care Act

    Providing high quality healthcare at reasonable cost is an enormous task

    There are no valid reasons, in my opinion, that everyone should not have access to high quality healthcare. Sadly, due to corrupt governments, geographic isolation, religious and ethnic conflicts, poor economies, inadequate education, ineffective leadership or a simple lack of will, much of the world’s population — especially those in Third World countries — has little or no access to healthcare. This is a gigantic problem with global implications that has no simple solution.

    As a result, this lack of access to healthcare will continue to shorten life expectancies, cause high maternal and childhood death rates to persist and result in pain, suffering, disability and even death from some of the most common and readily treated diseases.

    If one chooses to focus attention only on the industrialized countries of the world, however, where most of these limitations to receiving healthcare do not exist, we find that the United States is a very long way from the top in providing high quality healthcare to all its citizens. The reasons for this are numerous, but all are ultimately unacceptable.

    To try and give access to healthcare to millions of uninsured Americans, Congress and the president have recently passed legislation that has resulted in the creation of the Affordable Care Act (ACA). Though highly debated and controversial from the outset, ACA has now been enacted into law. While it is still being implemented and certain to continue evolving over time, I believe it is fair to evaluate the early successes and shortcomings of the ACA.

    Next: More people with coverage


    Ronald G. Wheeland, M.D.
    Ronald G. Wheeland, M.D., is a private practitioner in Tucson, Ariz. He is former president of the American Academy of Dermatology, the ...


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