by Jen Jenkins, Market Analyst
In this article, Dr. Aaron E. Carroll, a professor of pediatrics at Indiana University School of Medicine, provides an anecdotal reference to something that is too often overlooked within the American health care system. Issues about the affordability of obtaining insurance and the quality of care are constantly highlighted and debated, but how care is actually delivered is an issue all on its own.
The Affordable Care Act was passed in an effort to ensure a significant decrease in the number of people who did not have insurance. Regardless of where you stand on the topic, the fact is that having insurance is only one access point within the American health care system. What happens after you have insurance? What is the process of receiving care actually like?
In the aforementioned article, Dr. Carroll describes his difficult journey with ulcerative colitis and the obstacle of every three months obtaining the only medicine that has ever worked for him. Just reading his account is frustrating and confusing. He ends this anecdote with wonder at how the majority of people, especially anyone suffering worse problems than his, could possibly manage the often dizzying twists and turns of correlating insurance protocols, with doctor’s visits, with lab testing, with pharmaceutical companies, and more.
Reform in the medical world is long, difficult road. The Affordable Care Act was a vehicle to get more people health insurance and it is still being vehemently argued. Once that piece of the puzzle is solved in some capacity then maybe we can look further into reforming the actual system and access to the care that is delivered.