The Health Care Group is currently headed by Donn Rice and John Noronha. It has been active recently in two areas. Even though our overall goal is to promote single payer or Medicare for all, recent activity has focused on implementation of the complex ACA. The other focus has been to promote the understanding of and need for improved mental health services.
Implementation of the ACA is now concerned with the organization and operation of so called health care exchanges. The goals are to have them set up by October 1 and fully operational by January 1, 2014. At this time, only 22 states have agreed to comply; New York is one of these.
There are three approaches to get everyone protected by health insurance. The well- to- do will continue to be on their own. The middle class will have access to federal subsidies. The poor will be covered by expanded Medicaid. Unfortunately, less than half the states have agreed to accept the expanded Medicaid. The cost of medical care in the United States is twice that of every other developed country with hospitals. drugs, medical devices, being the major drivers.
Improving mental health services has been spearheaded by the Mental Health Care Coalition as part of the Faith in Action Network. TIAR has been a part of this effort. The plans were initiated on February 13, 2013, when representatives of many local mental health services met at the County Office of Mental Health. This discussion led to a seminar held on May 15, at the St, Josephs Neighborhood Center. Follow-up is still needed. To be put on TIAR’s e-mail list to be notified of activities dealing with health issues, send an e-mail request to firstname.lastname@example.org.