Last week, the US Senate tried to undo the Affordable Care Act or Obama Care. This system while it is not perfect and as a matter of fact it is far from the mark, still it provides a safety net for literally millions of Americans who would not otherwise be able to afford any health care.
What a sad commentary it is about our country and our leaders that in spite of our leading medical care that thousands of world citizens come here to use and yet for too many Americans, medical insurance still remains out of reach. As a result, these same Americans are forced to wait – sometimes too long – to take advantage of our medical care that could save their lives.
What brings this to mind is that on Monday, US Senator Elizabeth Warren was in East Boston to praise the work of the East Boston Neighborhood Health Center. For decades, this health center has been delivering care to many low-income residents who lack insurance but are in need of medical help. This center has helped thousands to cure a simple disease before it becomes progressively worse and possibly terminal.
Given all the rhetoric that is coming out about repealing or keeping the Affordable Care Act, our elected officials should look at the success of health providers like the East Boston Neighborhood Health Center. The Center is located in an area that is serving a clientele that is below the national income average and in many cases first generation Americans who are struggling to raise a family and make financial ends meet. Yet, these same Americans are receiving quality healthcare at a price that they can afford.
It would be too simplistic to say that the model that is now being used at the Center can fit all areas of our country. However, it can fit many areas that are urban and poor. If this system works here, why should it not work elsewhere? The East Boston Neighborhood Health Center model could be one piece of solving the puzzle of affordable health care.
The quote from Boston political legend and former Speaker of the US House of Representatives Albert “Tip” O’Neil who coined the phrase that “all politics is local,” seems very apt with debate going on about the Affordable Care Act in Washington D.C. and Monday’s visit and remarks from Sen. Warren on the success of the East Boston Neighborhood Health Center.