When you vote this year, evaluate where the candidates stand on of each of these issues. Consider how their views on these issues – consider how the impacts the overall health and well-being of our community, does it expand access to care, does it address key social determinants of health, such as education, poverty and housing.
Exercising our right to vote is a way we aspire to service our community and to achieve our mission to provide exceptional health care with compassion.
Access to Care
The first step to lifelong health is the ability to access primary care regularly when you are healthy and specialty care as health issues arise. In our health care system, the key to access is location and availability of insurance coverage. The Affordable Care Act expanded access to insurance in two ways:
- Expanded Medicaid – In Arizona, our Medicaid program is called the Arizona Health Care Cost Containment System, or AHCCCS. This program was expanded in 2014 allowing people who earn up to 138 percent of the poverty level to enroll in this program. This expansion, which is funded, in part, through an annual assessment on Arizona hospitals, provides critical coverage for thousands of Arizonans and has reduced the burden of uncompensated care on hospitals creating a more financially sustainable health care system throughout the state.
- Marketplace – While fewer people access insurance through the marketplace, it’s a critical bridge between those who qualify for AHCCCS and those who access insurance through their employers. This allows people to change jobs, start a new business and access health insurance if it’s not provided as a benefit by an individual’s employer.
Find more information about Medicaid Expansion in Arizona in this report by the Vitalyst Foundation.
Current law prohibits health insurance coverage from refusing to cover individuals based on their medical history. And, importantly, they can’t charge more because of those pre-existing conditions. At TMC, we remember when this was not the law of the land and the challenges faced by those with pre-existing conditions as they struggled to maintain the health insurance they so desperately needed. We do not believe it’s good for the health of our community to have such a substantial portion of our community at risk of being unable to access affordable health care coverage simply because they have a medical history.
We believe our mission to provide exceptional health care with compassion extends beyond the walls of the hospital and into the broader community. What this means to us is that we support candidates and public policy positions that provide for:
- A strong education system that is designed to create the workforce of the future and allows individuals to achieve a productive and healthy lifestyle for themselves and their families.
- A responsible immigration system that recognizes the unique characteristics of our border community and doesn’t drive the immigrants in our communities into the shadows without access to basic health services until the need is critical.
- Economic development and job growth so that individuals in our community will thrive as our economy thrives.