For the last five months (not to mention the last seven years), the curious mantra of repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act has rattled Americans across the country. Will the new bill pass? Will Americans lose their health-care insurance? Will seniors and the disabled have their Medicaid? Will children be covered with pre-existing conditions? From the president celebrating with U.S. representatives on the passage of their bill to the majority of U.S. senators bailing on each “improved” version of the bill, the news seemed like a pendulum swinging from impending doom to a haphazard sense of security. The president then spoke this week about the failure of the repeated efforts to replace the Affordable Care Act:

“Let Obamacare fail,” said Donald Trump on July 18 at the White House. “It’ll be a lot easier and I think we’re probably in that position where we’ll just let Obamacare fail. We’re not going to own it. I’m not going to own it. I can tell you the Republicans are not going to own it.”

And so, instead of Senate Republicans taking the opportunity to be renowned in history for improving and stabilizing the flailing Affordable Care Act for the common good and the best interests of the people, the Party of No has become the Party of Failure, the Party of “Not Going to Own It.” (That sounds like a similar business truism Trump has had for at least six of his failed ventures.) But Trump noted on the same day on Fox News, “Eventually we’re going to get something done.” Planning and allowing legislation as important as affordable health-care to fail as well as not being able to corral enough votes to pass a new bill when Republicans have both the executive branch and the majority in Congress speaks volumes about how “eventually” anything will get done. Regardless of these ongoing failures, locally the future of medicine moves forward; and ironically, it’s the path of socialized medicine at the Ventura County Medical Center that has reported some the most advanced technology available to the most underserved.

In this week’s feature, “Medical Marvels,” we venture into the advancements in medical technology and progress at area hospitals; but if there is anything to be said about socialized medicine, ending up on an operating table at the Ventura County Medical Center seems to be a good plan for a healthy future. All area hospitals have their attributes, but the idea that government-run health facilities fail to have the best is certainly not apparent locally.

As most Americans wait anxiously to see what next debacle will put their health in jeopardy, it’s a relief to know that we live in a state and a county where medical progress and the value of good health is a high priority.