TMC CEO Judy Rich on Health Care Ruling: Now Let’s Go to Work

The Supreme Court’s decision to uphold the Affordable Care Act will mean more Americans will have sorely-needed access to high-quality, affordable health care, said Tucson Medical Center President Judy Rich.

“The Affordable Care Act is a landmark piece of legislation that will provide a safety net for millions of Americans who haven’t had access to regular care,” Rich said.

“At the end of the day, it’s not about politics or partisan preference. It’s about people,” she continued.

While no legislation is perfect, Rich said it is clear that federal health care reform is a positive step in securing greater health for the larger community.

 “We care for the uninsured in our emergency room all the time, so we know the consequences that stem from a lack of primary care,” Rich said. The uninsured are more likely to develop aggravated conditions because of a lack of treatment. Those illnesses can often lead to disability or chronic conditions, and longer recovery times. Tucson Medical Center is pleased that opportunities exist under the law to reverse that unfortunate trajectory, Rich said.

“Now that the Supreme Court has answered the question about the constitutionality of the law, it is time we get past the rancor and rhetoric and focus on what really matters: Improving patient care and reducing the climbing costs of health care,” Rich said.

Rich noted it is also important to recognize that while hospitals have picked up the burden of caring for the uninsured, cuts in reimbursement have threatened to destabilize the hospital system across the state. That trend must not continue, she added.

“The reality is, regardless of how the Court had ruled today, health care was already undergoing a transformation,” Rich said. “Tucson Medical Center was not merely waiting for a ruling, but actively investing in information technology and pursuing new partnerships with other providers – and with the patients we serve – to ensure better outcomes and stronger efficiencies.”

“We welcome the shift to focusing on prevention and keeping patients healthier longer and we are already pioneering such efforts.”


  1. Anonymous says:

    nicely stated: thank you

    • terese ireland says:

      So happy to hear what you think and I could not agree more!
      Terese Ireland RN

    • anonymous says:

      This is the first time in history that the goverment is mandating that you as citizens buy something. Wake up people! Your freedom of choice is being jeopadized. The government should govern the citizens of this nation and not mandate laws that require that you purchase anything, even if it seems like the best thing in the world. This is the gradual slide downhill towards allowing the government making choices for you in every aspect of your life. It sounds great to have everyone in the country covered for all of their healthcare needs but we can’t afford it. Especially in these challenging economic times. Interesting that Judy Rich says horray, healthcare for everyone, but stop taking away the hospital’s reimbursements.

      • Anonymous says:

        So true. The socialist system we’re headed for only encourages a welfare state. If someone is going to take care of your needs, why work to take care of yourself. Makes me sick.

  2. Anonymous says:

    I think it’s nice that health care is about the people. But my question is how much is this going to cost the taxpayers? How much more can the middle class shell out? I don’t make Judy Rich type money. I have to pay a lot for health care. How much more is going to go out of my paycheck to pay for the people that don’t want to work? How much more am I going to be charged? There is only so much that can be taken out of a paycheck. I have bills, too. Yes, health care is and should be about the people, but the people need to pay into the system, too and not bilk it.

  3. Anonymous says:

    @Anonymous The irony with your statements is that you are already paying for it. You pay for it through higher medical costs. You pay for it in enumerable other ways. If a person receives preventative care, chronic or undiagnosed conditions can be treated by a primary care physician at a much lower cost than treating them in an Emergency Room. Furthermore, more expensive treatments can be avoided by catching conditions earlier, such as: Diabetes, High Blood Pressure, heart conditions. If a person shows up to the emergency room without insurance they must be treated. Treatment in the ER is significantly more expensive than at an urgent care facility or a doctors office. Those unreimbursed costs are passed on to you the consumer or to your insurance company which you in turn pay for in the form of higher premiums.
    The lack of health insurance by an individual does not mean they do not work. Perhaps they work for a small company that does not offer health insurance and they make too much to qualify for medicaid but not enough to support their family and provide a roof over their head. Perhaps they have reached their lifetime maximum with their current insurance and are unable to obtain new insurance. Aside from being unemployed there are a myriad of other reasons as to why an individual may not have health insurance. I agree that there are those individuals that abuse the system but to simply deny health insurance to all that should have it because of the few that abuse it is assinine to say the least.

    • Anonymous says:

      Just having health insurance isn’t going to change the fact people remain non-compliant with medications, treatments, and healthy living habits. How many times have any of you in the healthcare field seen a patient on AHCCS become non-compliant and return to the ED shortly after discharge. How many of you have seen patients smoking outside, gorging on fried meals they order from the cafeteria, refusing activity orders etc? Non-compliance happens in front of our eyes, while we are providing the care in an acute setting. What makes you think just becuase insurance is provided they will actually take advantage of the “preventative care”? Please.

      And the “penalty” to opt out of the mandatory insurance will be nominal for some people compared to the amount they would pay on a monthly basis for coverage. How many people do you think will opt to pay the penalty instead of take insurance?

  4. Anonymous says:

    I think the Affordable Care Act will help people with diseases that are neglected because they could not afford the treatment or medication to keep it manageable. We have an account with the prison population, they are receiving excellent healthcare. My son is not covered, Does he need to commit a crime and go to jail to get healthcare coverage?
    Hopefully he will be able to get some sort of healthcare coverage in the near future.

    • Anonymous says:

      Did you knock on your neighbor’s door and ask them if they minded paying your son’s way? Can we come to your house and get money when we need it?

  5. Anonymous says:

    I am sorry to see that the leadership of TMC is disillusioned enough to believe that this is a good thing. Apparently she hasn’t seen what this is doing to those on Medicare, and has no idea how much it will cost all of us in the end. She repeatedly talks about how TMC is losing money because of those who can’t afford health care, well we don’t have to worry about that now, instead of TMC losing money ALL of us will pay for it more directly.

  6. Anonymous says:

    I am just SOOOOO happy all those folks out there will have health care paid for with our taxes. We work for a major hospital, pay for our own health care and with TMC’s recent coverage changes, I can NO LONGER AFFORD SOME OF MY MEDS and have just stopped taking them. But, I’m just elated that everyone can get their contraception free now. Wahoo.
    While at urgent care two weeks ago, my copay was $40. A gal on the public dole came in and her copay was $3.
    I PAY my own way, but I’m penalized for that.
    Can someone please tell me how this is fair?
    This is nothing short of the socialist rape of hardworking, taxpaying Americans.
    Judy “Rich” is right. It IS about the people. Working people………getting the shaft.

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