Thursday, December 5, 2013
Why I support the Affordable Health Care Act:
• Preventive care: Before the ACA, some immunizations were covered and some were not. Before the ACA, some preventive exams were covered some were not. After the ACA, all immunizations and all preventive exams in all health plans in all 50 states are covered.
This, of course, is my favorite thing about the ACA. I get to spend more time preventing heart disease and cancer and less time treating heart disease and cancer.
• Parents can keep children on their health plan until age 26.
• Seniors no longer face the doughnut hole of losing prescription drug benefits.
• No more pre-existing conditions: Before the ACA, insurance companies did not have to accept a patient with rheumatoid arthritis. Losing a job is bad enough, but for a patient who needs a $10,000 injectable medication, it is worse.
After the ACA, insurance companies are forbidden to deny coverage based on a pre-existing condition.
• No more free riders: No more cost shifting.
Before the ACA, Americans were "free" to gamble and not buy health insurance. If they lost, they passed the cost of their care on to those of us with insurance. After the ACA, we all will be taking responsibility for our health care.
• Insurance companies pay for care, not advertising and CEO salaries.
Before the ACA, insurance companies spent 40 percent of its premiums for overhead. About 60 percent went to patient care. Note that Angela Braly, CEO of Anthem/WellPoint, made $13 million in 2009.
After the ACA, insurance companies must spend 80 to 85 percent of premiums on patient care. If not, they must pay the customer (you and me) a rebate check. Hopefully, some of that will come from Ms. Braly.
Thomas McInerney, M.D.
Our representatives on the right, at nearly all levels of government, are demonizing any approach to universal health care. Never mind that logic at its most simplified level reveals that universal health care is far less expensive, on an individual level, than our present system
To get decent health care now, one must have a comprehensive insurance policy, paid for increasingly by individuals. Those policies must support stockholders demanding greater and greater profits, executives barely surviving, poor things, on bloated salaries and benefits and an extensive infrastructure mostly designed to complicate claims.
Those corporations comprising the U.S. health care system extant must also generate enough income to lobby Congress (some might claim to buy Congress) and to advertise enough to confuse those who don't choose to think for themselves.
Absent universal health care, those without coverage will continue to use the emergency rooms in those hospitals that haven't already excluded those without insurance. Many, if not most, of those visits should be replaced by far less costly visits to a clinic.
The absurd rhetoric of election-year politics and politicos should not outweigh reason, but it does. And now that the Supreme Court has defined corporations as individuals, and Congress won't reform campaign financing, we will continue to sink deeper into this 40-year decline.
After the Supreme Court voted to stop the 2000 Florida recount, thus awarding George W. Bush the presidency of the United States, the Republican Party had a message for Democrats: "You lost, get over it." Al Gore issued a concession speech more eloquent than any given during his campaign, a constitutional crisis was avoided and the nation moved forward.
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