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Friday, June 29, 2012

An endorsement of the health care law

Posted By on Fri, Jun 29, 2012 at 6:29 AM

POSITIVE DAY: UAMS Dan Rahn reacts to Obamacare ruling.
  • 'POSITIVE' DAY: UAMS' Dan Rahn reacts to Obamacare ruling.
Yesterday's ruling upholding the federal health care law immediately triggered a full-scale resumption of political warfare. A lot is riding on who wins the political battle. Will the majority of American people continue to view negatively a law that the majority of them acknowledge — in the specifics — is good for them?

Republicans are counting on hopes that 2012 will be another 2010 — just invoke the words Obama and health care mandate and you are a winner. If they're right, the health law could be damaged, maybe repealed.

The Democratic Party has done an abysmal job in selling a law they paid a steep price to pass. But 2012 isn't 2010 in every respect. For one thing, the country has begun experiencing the benefits of the law and more benefits are to come. That means more people might hear and heed the message coming from people like Dr. Dan Rahn, chancellor of UAMS, who sent this messsage around to the institution yesterday.

Dear UAMS Family,

As you have probably heard, the United States Supreme Court today ruled that the Affordable Care Act, including the individual mandate that virtually all Americans have health insurance coverage, is constitutional.

We will need some time to study the ruling and see details, but this means that we as a nation have a framework now for expanded insurance coverage for nearly all Americans. For UAMS we will continue on the path we’ve been on, focused on health system reform and the overall goals for society of better health, better health care and lower costs.

Many of our initiatives are focused on those broad goals and are independent of the legislation in some ways. We’ve been working on the development of the Patient-Centered Medical Home for our primary care. We are developing a Physician Assistant Program and a Doctorate of Nursing Practice. We are expanding our Family Medicine Residency programs through the Area Health Education Centers as well as working to develop new Internal Medicine residency programs in partnership with other institutions in northwest Arkansas.

The new integrated Electronic Medical Record platform we are developing with Epic will enable us to have health information at the time and point of care for all our patients. We also continue to build out our distance health programs and network. All of these initiatives are focused on societal goals shared by the health care reform act.

The decision today is a positive one for Arkansas. Let’s stay the course.

Dan Rahn, M.D.
UAMS Chancellor

Virtually all people will have health insurance. This, Republican candidates are prepared to tell you, is a terrible thing.

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