Big Federal health initiatives like the CDC, the NIH and yes, Obamacare, will protect the US population from the Ebola outbreak.
With the appearance of Ebola on U. S. soil in Texas and other possible cases being rumored to exist in Kentucky, it time to do a reality check and get the facts about risk of infection in the United States. To begin, you can read the World Health Organization’s Ebola FAQ.
Vox.com has this to say about Ebola in the US:
Modern public-health systems can manage diseases that travel through bodily fluids. The techniques are laborious, but known. You isolate those who have contracted the disease, or might have contracted it. You find out who’s been near them. You screen them for the disease. You isolate anyone who shows symptoms. You do this until the disease is stamped out. It works. And modern public-health systems know how to do it.
CDC Director, Dr. Tom Frieden says, “Ebola can be scary. But there’s all the difference in the world between the U.S. and parts of Africa where Ebola is spreading. The United States has a strong health care system and public health professionals who will make sure this case does not threaten our communities. While it is not impossible that there could be additional cases associated with this patient in the coming weeks, I have no doubt that we will contain this.”
And ThinkProgress has this to say about Federally funded public health initiatives and Ebola.
Meanwhile, here at home, the publicly funded National Institutes of Health (NIH) is “developing an investigational Ebola vaccine.” The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is helping health care facilities prepare for possible Ebola cases and ensuring that they have the facilities to manage a patient with Ebola symptoms.
And what about Obamacare, the very law Republicans sought to defund? It too is playing a role in preventing an epidemic. Research has shown that people who lack health insurance delay or skip health care services or substitute home remedies or over the counter drugs for doctor visits that can diagnose and prevent the spread of communicable disease. People who have access to routine needed care are less likely to be susceptible to disease, leading to improvements in individual and community resilience.
The law also establishes a Prevention and Public Health Fund that provides state and local governments with additional resources that can help “prevent, detect, and respond to disease outbreaks” and includes provisions that can be “leveraged to integrate preparedness into daily health care and to help create stronger routine and emergency health care delivery systems that can surge to respond to disasters.”
So, it is safe to say that Ebola will have a difficult time spreading in any nation that has a robust public health system like ours. Furthermore, a large coordinated response at the Federal level, leveraging the kind of big healthcare initiatives that only Washington can coordinate, will insure that any cases of Ebola that do arise will be contained. This is exactly the kind of emergency that big government health initiatives are able to address. Its a good thing we have well funded, well coordinated initiatives in place to do the job.
Big initiatives like the Centers for Disease Control, the National Institutes of Health, and yes, Obamacare.