Delivering effective, efficient and extraordinary healthcare to all requires full access to care. Health insurance, either private or government, is essential to that access, which is why Beaumont Health is urging President Donald Trump and members of Congress to tread carefully as they consider changes to the Affordable Care Act.
As of this month, about 12 million Americans have gained access to care through ACA plans on federal or state exchanges. Nearly 1 million people in Beaumont's home state of Michigan have health coverage through the ACA or the Healthy Michigan Medicaid expansion plan. Some 61,000 people are now getting treatment at our facilities as a result of the coverage through the Healthy Michigan Plan.
Some of these individuals have very serious health conditions, such as cancer, heart disease and diabetes.
Greater access to care strengthens our ability to improve the health and wellness of the patients, families and communities we and other health systems serve.
Any disruption to access and coverage would be devastating to the health of those who are now insured and receiving treatment for acute or chronic conditions. Keeping patients healthy begins with health insurance coverage, so they can have access to physicians and primary care sooner rather than later.
Preventive screenings, immunizations and tests help to avoid illness or detect it at the earliest, most treatable stages. When care is provided earlier at lower cost, a medical condition can be stopped from advancing to a more serious state and unnecessary medical risk and cost can be avoided.
Repeal of the ACA without an adequate replacement plan could well wreak havoc on both the health and economic stability of our patients, clinicians, hospitals and communities.
In a letter sent on behalf of the hundreds of thousands of people we care for annually, the leadership of Beaumont Health asked President Trump and lawmakers to carefully consider the most essential elements of the ACA in discussions of a future healthcare system.
Keeping the ACA's “10 essential benefits,” such as maternity and newborn care, mental health, substance abuse and pediatric services, will help maintain early interventions, so conditions can still be addressed earlier and at less cost.