Has it only been less than 2 weeks? It feels like much, much longer. What I can say, we are all now living PT (post-Trump). I am afraid that we may lose some of the amazing things we’ve been able to build for our parents since the passage of the Affordable Care Act and if the rhetoric flying at light speed right now gets any traction, we may also lose what we’ve come to rely on in Medicare and Medicaid. This is a blog for people on all sides of the aisle, so let’s talk about what we want together.
Let’s talk about what the Affordable Care Act has done for us. The Affordable Care Act not only brought coverage to many people who like my mother couldn’t afford health insurance, but it also allowed health scientists from across the U.S. to test a wide array of innovations in health and long term care.
In-home healthcare. States have been sending community health workers and various levels of other health workers into the home to see if home-based healthcare makes a difference. Did you know you can learn more about a person spending 5 minutes in their home than you can working with the person daily for years? Think about it next time you visit someone’s home, then think about how that kind of information can influence how your healthcare team responds to your needs. Because of the ACA, home-based care has been tested across the U.S. and I can’t wait to start seeing the data from these tests.
Person-directed planning. Also being tested is a number of initiatives that have re-organized and re-focused healthcare around the wants and needs of the person receiving the care. Think of it; it’s revolutionary. Imagine having your healthcare team actually ask what you want and what you would like to achieve with your health. Are your goals to attend your daughter’s wedding? to be able to participate in church activities? or is it to be able to continue with your walking group? Ask your doctor for person-directed care and see how your health practitioners can support you in living the life you choose.
Choosing community-based over institutional long-term care. Did you know that prior to the ACA, Medicare and Medicaid predominantly paid for institutional supports (nursing homes, hospitals stays, and the like). Since ACA, state and federal governments have tested or grown a number of initiatives designed to keep people out of institutional care. Not only does it save money NOT to institutionalize someone, but it usually respects the wishes of the person most of whom would rather be able to stay at home or in their community.
Is is time to revolutionize how we care for our aging parents? Absolutely. Democrats, Republicans and all those in-between make healthcare and long term care better but just make sure you don’t throw out our parents with the bath water.