It looked to me like the life of ObamaCare, otherwise known as The Affordable Care Act, is extended, at least until March 3. This allowed the in coming administration to get it right, thanks to the five senators that drafted and passed an amendment to the bill on Monday night. The January 27 deadline would’ve used money from the budget reconciliation to void parts of the controversial act.
Having something new and more responsible is the incoming administration’s major hurdles and first on their agenda. How is this done without a huge hike in costs? According to one article, the ACA costs money, $1.34 trillion in the next 10 years. As this already added to the national defict, already reaching $19.8 trillion, taxpayers are alarmed this mandate further excentuated unneccessary, waistful spending. Nearly 20 million people will lose medical coverage if Obamacare is undone.
Speaking of the affect on the national deficit, a few estimates suggest that the ACA could have a positive long-term effect on the deficit; others disagree. saying that the new law will only add more weight to an already devastating national debt. Affordable healthcare comes at a cost to taxpayers who can afford to contribute to the system. And some taxpayers will pay substantially more than others depending on their health. age and socioeconomic status.
The Affordable Care Act requires a variety of things:1) Everyone must obtain insurance 2), policies have to offer “10 essential benefits. and 3) certain employers have to provide health insurance to full-time workers. These requirements might be seen as a slap in the face to personal freedom. Whether you agree with this assessment or not, conservatives back this mandate 100% and continue arguing the point, despite the fact that the bill is a law.
Republicans have it reversed. Government wasn’t the problem, it was the solution. The problem existed in the private sector. At least 20% won’t have a choice in providers in 2017. Those in the middle faced an average premium increase of 25%. Still the majority of people were taking a tax penalty because the premiums remain out of reach.
Remember the problem with Bowie Memorial Hospital? It closed because of funding problems. Bowie citizens went to the polls in Montague County deciding whether to approve a hospital tax district, which would have pumped much-needed revenue into the hospital. Run by a volunteer board, appointed by Bowie City Council members, Bowie Memorial bled millions over the years as administrators struggled to serve an aging, poor and underinsured population. But anti-tax forces in the community saw the district as another government bailout; some didn’t even believe the hospital would close.
With the influx of young people to bigger cities in search of jobs, the elderly and poor were left behind. This made things worse when Congress slashed funding and repayment costs for Medicaid and Medicare in the 1990s. The worst part of it is they didn’t expand services for Medicaid under the ACA, which left most uninsured who didn’t qualify for Medicaid and didn’t have Medicare. Nearly 80% of hospital patients were like that and very sick a lot on the time. It was sad to see this unfold last year on the news.
There has been local good news. Thanks to the ACA, there are urgent care centers and Emergency Clinics. Urgent care centers handle things that were handled in the next two days and up to a week. Emergency Clinics handle immediate problems like appendicitis, any type of stomach pains and the like. For a kidney infection, urgent care would run the testing aand diagnose the condition via their lab. For a migraine The Emergency Clinic is the option. The aim with all these options is to reduce the high copay costs of visiting an ER.
The cost of treating my migraine at URHCC ER back in January 2008 was $2,678, roughly. The cost for the ER doctor was over $300, separate from the treatment. This included three anti- nausea medication administered through an IV and my being hooked up to a heart machine, a blood test taken twice, and medicine to stop the pain. The medication for the migraine cost $285 before Medicare, $211 after. The large amount made my doctor cringe.
To leave Medicare Part D isn’t wise either. Not having prescription drug coverage cost someone 2.5% of their income plus a lifetime penalty that started at $ 4 a month. Because there isn’t any other income outside of my Social Security check and what my father left from the VA, the money probably will be deducted from my check before it is electronically deposited into my account. Not having part B costs more than that. As of April 15, 2017, the penalty started at $900. Penalties were like premiums. They went up too. Had I switched to the standard plan instead of going with another company, or sttaying with the value plan there probably wouldn’t be a premium increase of $17.
My point here is, in the rush to get out of the program, the representative on the phone December 7 mislead me into believing disenrollment in Medicare Part D could’ve been handled over the phone and there weren’t any consequences. She may have started with them, but there wasn’t a full disclosure until my call on December 30.
So, as congress and the senate decide the fate of Obamacare, the effects could either hurt its users or help. Let’s pray they get it right by March 3 of this year.
The GOP is pumping the brakes on repealing Obamacare Bob Bryan Business Insider January 10, 2017
Wichita Falls Urgent Care Clinics versus Emergency Rooms By Alex Achten, Thursday, November 17th 2016
Doctor’s Out: a Community Hospital Closes in Small-Town Texas by Alexa Garcia-Ditta Fri., April 1, 2016
The Biggest Problem with Obamacare (It’s Probably Not What You Think) “Government isn’t the problem here. It’s the solution.” By Richard Eskow / Blog for Our Future November 2, 2016