Those without insurance are at a heightened risk of being unable to pay for medical treatment that could save their lives. In years past, the issue has been well documented but few lawmakers have made moves to find a solution. The Affordable Care Act was meant to remedy the problem by expanding people’s access to insurance coverage. However, in Palm Beach County, Florida, the County Commission is calling for more aggressive action to be taken to ensure that state residents have access to the coverage they need.
This week, the County Commission raised concerns over the issue at a meeting. The county’s Health Care District took these concerns to heart and has begun looking into ways it can make changes to the current state-supported health care system. Solving the problem is complicated, however, as any resolution would translate into higher taxes and, in some cases, higher insurance rates from private insurance companies.
For now, the Health Care District will focus on expanding coverage to the middle-income residents of the county. Many of these people have lost their jobs and are on the verge of losing the coverage provided by the federal COBRA program. Currently, district officials have only $5,000 to find a practical way to expand insurance coverage, a meager sum when faced with the breadth of the problem. Nonetheless, County Commission Chairwoman Karen Marcus says that changes must be made for the sake of residents.