Media's role in healthcare debate

By Arthur Sutherland, M.D.
The Commercial Appeal (Memphis, Tenn.), Letters, Nov. 8, 2016

I have to challenge the Nov. 6 Commercial Appeal editorial that the Affordable Care Act is the best hope for universal healthcare coverage (“ACA best hope for universal coverage”).

For starters, the ACA is not an historic or signature legislative achievement for the President because it is not working. Of the 50 million uninsured people in America, 30 million are still uninsured after passing the Patient Protection, Affordable Care Act.

Also, the ACA has proven to increase insurance premiums, and even cease coverage in Memphis, Nashville, and Knoxville.  BC/BS pulled out of these markets where there was the most need for healthcare access by the poor.

The insurance industry puts profits first. That is not healthcare protection, nor is it adding affordability for the public good.

Throughout this national healthcare reform debate, the press in general has seemed to pass on the rhetoric of the insurers and large business interests. Is this lazy journalism in failing to really study the issues, or is the press protecting big business because of their advertising revenues?

The ACA  needs to be replaced with Improved and Expanded Medicare for All which would cover everyone in the USA, reduce healthcare costs, and improve the delivery of quality healthcare. Physicians, other healthcare professions, and the public are on record to support this solution.

Dr. Arthur Sutherland resides in Memphis.