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May 25, 2017 By Gary Larcenaire

The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA), commonly called the Affordable Care Act (ACA) AKA “Obamacare”, enacted by President Barack Obama on March 23, 2010 has been a source of professional and personal angst for me since the beginning. We can discuss the personal side in person!

ACA implementation and Medicaid expansion–provisions of the Affordable Care Act expanded Medicaid to all Americans under age 65 whose family income is at or below 133 percent of federal poverty guidelines by Jan. 1, 2014–has been dogged by political rancor, legal challenges, and constant political vilification since its inception.

As a healthcare administrator in the conservative-leaning Texas, and Utah, the process of forecasting and planning has been rendered nearly impossible. Since 2010, I have experienced feelings of uncertainty and confusion, blended with a heaping dose of “desire to be ready”. That has been a recipe for sleepless nights.

Like my colleagues, I share a deep commitment to my team and community, and expect that our service delivery and software systems will ready for whatever is decided.

I touch on this in a prior blog: Babies, Baseball and Bikers. Check it out. Let me know your thoughts.

Maybe now, with full control bestowed upon Republicans, in all three branches of Federal Government, and an unprecedented number of statehouses in 2017, we can debate a few undisputed facts:

  1. Our system is more focused on “sick” than ‘health” care.
  2. Our financing and regulatory system is sub-optimal and leads to inefficiencies.
  3. You cannot end homelessness by simply passing a mandate that people buy housing. This same concept likely applies to the uninsured.
  4. Behavioral health and addiction services need to emerge as mainstream healthcare. As acceptable and necessary an aspect of healthcare as any other specialty such as allergy and immunology or ophthalmology.

I hope that now, given the learning that has occurred since 2010, we have a context within which now to finally forge a more unifying solution to some very real, but solvable problems. I can’t wait to test out our processes and excel in whatever circumstances are ahead.

At Valley Behavioral Health, we stand ready to adapt to whatever our community leaders decide, and look forward to helping inform the debate when the time comes.

Let’s Deal with ACA Together!

I look forward to more discussion in our next leadership meeting!


Gary Larcenaire

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