When the Uproar Ends

December 18, 2013 by InTouch Health

Sometimes it takes real courage to stay the course. The Affordable Care Act has stumbled badly out of the gate, but we need to keep repeating its core mission like a mantra: “Improve access, improve quality, lower costs.”

Telemedicine aligns perfectly with those goals, so we think it’s wise not to overreact to the recent mistakes and miscues in health reform. There are many historical precedents for programs that launched poorly but fulfilled their promise.

Perhaps the best example is the interstate highway system. President Eisenhower signed the Federal Aid Highway Act in 1956, which provided the funding for our present-day network of coast-to-coast highways. By 1961, the program had a cost overrun of $11 billion and there were fierce battles over where to build – especially in urban areas. One newspaper even called the project “our great highway bungle.” Sound familiar?

With all the media pundits calling health reform a fiasco, it’s time to take a deep breath and remember that even landmark programs like our federal highway system had many major hiccups and delays. You don’t hear many complaints today from people cruising on America’s freeways. And it’s likely that the health reform uproar will end when the program starts to deliver.

It’s important to remember that health reform is a necessity, regardless of the setbacks and adjustments that will surely take place. We have no choice but to improve access, improve quality and lower costs. We’re confident that health reform will ultimately achieve those goals – and that telemedicine will play a major role.

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