Improved Access, Improved Health
Is access to health care a right? Is health care coverage a right? These two questions have been asked and debated for years. Political candidates have staked and continue to stake their campaigns on them. They are, in fact, pretty important questions to ask. Many of us, myself included, have never had to worry about these issues in our personal life. But thousands of Hoosiers across the state do.
The Indiana Hospital Association’s mission is to provide Indiana hospitals with leadership, representation, and support to improve the health of Indiana residents. But it’s hard to be healthy without affordable, accessible health care. Knowing that covering at-risk Hoosiers would help provide better access to care, create a healthier workforce, and help thousands of families avoid financial peril, hospital and health system leaders throughout the state advocated for expanded coverage. IHA and its members collaborated with the state government to expand the Healthy Indiana Plan (HIP) through the HIP 2.0 program. In this issue, you will read more about the history of this plan that is so important to the health and well being of thousands of Indiana residents.
HIP is a great program. However, there is still much work to be done. In this issue you will also read about the Alliance for a Healthier Indiana and its efforts to raise awareness of Indiana’s poor health rankings. Why are we promoting a healthier Indiana? Because as a state, we aren’t healthy. Unfortunately, Indiana ranks 38th out of the nation’s 50 states in overall health. We rank 40th for obesity and 41st for smoking. There is a cost to these poor health rankings—a financial cost for us all and a quality of life cost for many others.
IHA and its member organizations are committed to continuing to work in ways that influence Hoosiers’ access to care and coverage and, ultimately, their health. We believe a healthier Indiana is a better Indiana for all of us. Please enjoy this issue and join us in our work.