This past March marked the five year anniversary of the passage of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act. As this milestone came to pass, there was much reflection in the media about if we are better off now than we were five years ago. With this in mind, when asked if we are better off now than we were five years ago, I must answer with an unhesitating and resounding YES!
Not only have millions of Americans enrolled to receive needed medical care, but the dignity of that experience has also improved dramatically. Safety net clients have realized a dramatic increase in access to benefits services through the modernization and simplification of their county health and humans services departments. Health benefits can now be obtained via online applications, telephone call centers and streamlined benefits assistance lobbies. Overall, government is becoming much more efficient and those who need benefits can obtain them quickly. This leaves clients with more time for work, taking care of their family, and attending school or retraining programs. YES!
California County Health and Human Services organizations are in the midst of a cultural shift from gate keepers to support and service personnel. By improving the efficiency of their business process and technology and holding themselves accountable, they improve the client experience. YES!