With the opening of the Health Exchange Marketplace set to open up on 10/1, a lot of people are buzzing about Obamacare and its impact on the quality of healthcare in the US. For each piece of accurate information flying around, there have to be at least 5 pieces of bad information formed from misinterpretations. That said, it begs a closer look at whether or not legislatures have done anything – or plan to do anything – to improve healthcare for our country throughout 2013.
Women Veteran’s and other Health Care Improvements Act
Introduced in March of this year by Representative Rick Larsen, from Washington State, this bill takes a closer look at the health and reproductive assistance given to female veterans. The focus is to honor those who have served our country by making it more affordable for them to access reproductive healthcare, including infertility treatments.
Children’s Access to Health Care
In July of this year, Representative Lois Capps of California introduced a bill called the School-Based Health Centers Act. The act is designed to broaden the availability of health services offered to children through their school systems in an attempt to alleviate some of the complications associated with a lack of coverage. The bill looks at social services, mental health, and traditional health services designed to reduce ER visits and improve attendance and learning ability. Having more selection will make it easier for children to get the care they need to continue studying, working with tutors, and growing towards a better future.
Mental Healthcare Improvements
Earlier this September, Senator Whitehouse of Rhode Island announced his plan to introduce legislation that will take a closer look at mental healthcare. This came in the wake of the tragic Navy yard shooting and begs the question of how mental illnesses – including those that have been identified – are actually treated. The Behavioral Health Information Technology Act would allow for better record keeping and the expanded acceptance of Medicare and increased education about mental health, amongst other things.
Also introduced earlier this month was a bill from Senator Sanders of Vermont. His bill is working to improve access to oral healthcare for underserved portions of the population. This particular measure is critical as proper dental care can help to prevent other damaging disorders, including heart disease, not to mention costly gum and dental care later on. The prognosis for this bill isn’t good, but at least they’re trying.
The number of bills introduced in the House and Senate each year is astounding. The number that never make it anywhere is also staggering. These bills show us that some of our representatives have our best interests at heart – but we now have to find ways of ensuring the entire legislative body helps as well.
Image credit – Wikimedia Commons
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