President Barack Obama’s re-election has ensured that the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, arguably the president’s biggest legislative triumph of his first term, will be implemented. The law continues to be divisive, and has attracted both strong backers and equally fervent opponents. What is not debatable is the importance of healthcare, with exit polls showing that it constitutes the second-most important factor among American voters following the economy.
Providing the best care to the most individuals possible remains a difficult issue to navigate the world over. Different governments enact different systems, with varying degrees of success. But even the most effective public policies cannot cover 100% of the people all of the time. Charities and other civil society initiatives have the potential to catch some of the individuals who fall through the social safety net, and for this reason, the Aspen Institute is so pleased to be working with Heartfile.
The Aspen Institute coordinates a public-private partnership initiative called Partners for a New Beginning (PNB), which seeks to increase the number of business and civil society partnerships between the US, North Africa, the Middle East, and South Asia. Our role at Aspen is to find American partners to help address locally-defined priorities, and we have organized a number of different events with Dr. Nishtar in the US and around the world. From Istanbul to New York, people are touched by Dr. Nishtar’s presentation. Indeed, because access to affordable healthcare is such a universal problem, it is easy to understand and empathize with the plight of those who are helped by Heartfile Health Financing.
In the US, both democratic and republican campaign advertisements over the past election cycle focused on the cost of healthcare. Not surprisingly, each side made it a point that public action or inaction would directly cause some to go without needed care or become heavily indebted while making heartbreaking decisions. The work of Heartfile Health Financing prevents people from having to make these stark choices. We are proud to be their partner.
Mr. Gabe Ross
Associate Director of Middle East Programs
Aspen Institute | Partners for a New Beginning (PNB)