As we wade through today’s flurry of news and media reports on the June 28, 2012, Supreme Court ruling on the Affordable Care Act, there is one key thing to remember: the path to healthcare reform is still a steep climb. Advocates for America’s older adults, especially, must have access to the best information, resources, and tools to strategically support their work in the continuing efforts to transform and improve our healthcare system. Such transformation can mean a better and more responsive, compassionate care for our elders, which translates to better quality of life in people’s later years.
ASA’s journal, Generations, is one of those premier resources.
"The long-awaited Supreme Court decision on the ACA is a welcome relief because accessibility and affordability of healthcare for people of all ages is a basic human right. Much misinformation has been promulgated over the past two years about the ACA, now is the time to focus on public education about the ACA and all of its components that are scheduled to go into effect over the next years."
As we have seen with the genesis—and now the continuing journey—of the 2010 landmark healthcare law, the process has been long and often arduous. As with the ACA, our Spring 2011 issue of Generations was a long time in the making—decades, in fact.
In 1933, during the Great Depression and when the new Social Security legislation was being drafted, President Franklin D. Roosevelt asked that provisions for publicly funded healthcare programs be included. Not surprisingly, these provisions were removed prior to passage in 1935. Thirty years later, in 1965, President Lyndon Johnson amended the Social Security Act when he signed the Medicare and Medicaid programs into law.
Fast forward on through the variable healthcare reform-related sallies of the Nixon, Carter, Clinton, and Bush administrations. In November 2009, when the Obama healthcare agenda was in full swing and reform debates were at their heated height, the Generations Editorial Board determined that an issue should address healthcare reform and elders—whether or not the legislation survived the congressional gauntlet (and the eventual arguments over its constitutionality).
The outcome is history—as is today’s dramatic Supreme Court ruling on the ACA.
We invite you to take a look at the Spring 2011 issue of Generations, “The Affordable Care Act: A Way Toward Aging with Dignity in America,” which focused on the ACA’s potential to help America’s elders age with the best possible care and quality of life. We believe this collection of articles from some of the nation’s top advocates can bolster the spirit of advocacy so vital to system reform.
Twelve contributing authors, under the guidance of guest editor Dr. Bruce Chernof, explore the potential of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA) for shaping a better long-term future for older Americans. Chernof, president and CEO of The SCAN Foundation in Long Beach, Calif., believes that long-term care should be a particular priority on our national health agenda, citing the statistic that 70 percent of Americans who reach age 65 will need some form of long-term services and supports and, on average, that need will last three years.
“This is something we will all face, and we need a far more person-centered, integrated, and community-oriented system than we have now. All of us will want to have dignity and choices as we age—a well-functioning long-term services and supports system is fundamental to fulfilling this desire,” he says.
Though the future of the Affordable Care Act is far from secure, especially in light of the 2012 presidential election now inching ever closer, Chernof believes that the ACA will bring about a brighter future for long-term services and supports.
We urge all in the aging services community to take advantage of this issue of Generations, a timely, useful, and affordable resource offering insight, models, and strategies to help fulfill the promise of healthcare reform.
--Alison Hood, Editor, Generations
Women, Caregivers, Families, and the Affordable Care Act’s Bright Promise of Better Care
by Debra L. Ness
The Three Spheres of Aging in America: The Affordable Care Act Takes on Long-Term-Care Reform for the 21st Century
by Bruce Chernof
read this article online
Reframing the Language of Long-Term Care Can Shape Policy, Improve Public Perception
by Victoria R. Ballesteros and Athan G. Bezaitis
Care Initiatives, Models, and the Affordable Care Act
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