2012 Elections a watershed moment for healthcare
Dr. Zachary B. Steele, Trussville Vision Care
We are just two weeks from the 2012 presidential elections and, for both sides of the healthcare debate, the stakes are high
Grand Old Party candidate Mitt Romney has vowed to repeal all or most of the Affordable Care Act, while President Barack Obama seeks to cement his landmark legislation.
I have already mentioned in past columns that I have mixed feelings on Obamacare. As a practicing optometric physician, I can see the need for reform in our system. Too many people cannot afford the current system, and the costs of insurance continue to rise. When I began in practice, individual coverage through our office was around $200. It has doubled in the last ten years, while single family coverage has nearly tripled.
I can also see the concern for the country becoming socialist. We have a long history of free markets in the good ole USA, including the healthcare system. The rising cost of healthcare has made many in the insurance business wealthy, and many healthcare providers, including optometrists, have flourished as well.
We all have an important decision coming in the next few weeks. I have a feeling that no matter who is elected, not much is going to change as far as healthcare is concerned. I do not believe Governor Romney will push for repeal if elected, and he likely will not have to. The Democrats will in all likelihood control the Senate next year, so even if the Republican House votes for repeal, the bill will die in the Senate. And I think that a shame.
Why? Because if there were any semblance of compromise in our government, we could find a way to keep the good things about Obamacare, while fixing the things we wish were better. But our government is so polarized that I just do not see that happening.
In any case, I urge all of you to get out and vote, and let our elected officials know that all of us are paying attention. It is the only way we as citizens can exact change.
Dr. Zack Steele is a 2003 graduate of UAB’s School of Optometry. His office is located at 133 Chalkville Road in downtown Trussville.