So now some are clamoring for a czar over Obamacare to make it work. It seems like they forget that the devil is in the details. It was passed in 2010 as a method to provide quality health care to the poor without increasing premiums. At the time, about 15.7% of Americans did not have health insurance. Now, four years later and after great expenditures, 14.5% still do not have insurance. This is clearly not a success story.
So what didn't they consider when passing this Affordable Care Act? Clearly they didn't consider what the poor need to go through to get coverage that they cannot afford to pay for. The number of newly unemployed people would not have the tax records to prove their financial status. The millionaires that sit in Congress do not understand what it is like to live payday to payday. If you lose your job and you had insurance, you would qualify for a COBRA extension. The cost of this coverage can be four or five times the cost for regular group coverage. To apply for coverage through an exchange means coming up with paperwork showing that you are now one of the poor. Last year's tax return probably won't qualify you for a subsidy.
And what about those who lost their individual coverage because it did not comply with the Obamacare requirements? They were promised that they could keep their same doctors = untrue. In fact, new coverage frequently required consumers to choose new doctors and hospitals who had been approved by their exchange. Confusion during the first few months of 2014 kept some patients from receiving timely care. While the number of fatalities may have been limited, it does not account for some having their conditions worsen. Those who had been receiving their care through Medicaid may have had their treatments disrupted due to a change in doctors or co-pays.
An interesting byproduct of Obamacare is that the promise of reducing the cost of insurance seems to be someone's pipe dream. You can't increase benefits without increasing the cost of coverage. Some procedures no longer required a co-pay. They were free to the consumer. But the doctors, the hospitals, the pharmacies still have to be paid. That meant that the rest of the insured consumers would pay an additional cost. And the subsidies? Those are tax dollars coming from consumers already paying for their own insurance. Not a very fair deal for those who didn't need Obamacare to begin with.
Insurance companies were also prohibited from rejecting applicants due to per-existing conditions or in charging higher premiums. The costs for seniors being insured under individual plans were to be no more than three times the cost for young people. This meant that even though statistically young people would not have very high frequency or severity of claim, they would be paying a premium that was not actuarially appropriate. And seniors who experience seven times the amount of claims as young people, would only pay three times the cost. The result has caused young people to avoid health insurance. They simply can't afford it.
And that doesn't take into account the issue of prescribed drugs. The FDA took over as the arbiter of good medicine. Take the drug Avastin. While used for a variety of health problems, the FDA took away approval for conditions where it did not appear to be very effective. The reason was the cost of the drug. At $1,000 per dose or more, insurance companies were quick to follow the FDA guidelines, leaving consumers to pay this cost if the doctor believed it was the right treatment. Your health care provider is not the final word in what treatment you need. It could be numbers crunchers who have no idea of what standard treatment should consist of.
And has anyone taken a close look at what the minimum essential coverages are? Apparently there is no problem getting treatment if the condition is an emergency. If it is not considered an emergency, you may not receive immediate approval for the hospitalization or the treatment. Just how long a non-emergency condition turns into an emergency may be determined over the coming years. Heart bypass surgery after a heart attack may have higher mortality rates than if the surgery takes place when clogging of the arteries is bad enough to cause heart problems.
There is no mention of the impact of treatment alternatives like the possibility of 3D printing of organs or using less expensive but effective methods of treatment. Using marijuana instead of Marinol for paid or nausea would be less expensive and safer but the federal law still does not recognize marijuana as a legal remedy. However, the FDA is willing to approve a pain reliever that many in the health industry believes is too powerful.
We have a Surgeon General. One would think that would be more effective than appointing a czar. But it seems that the federal government does not try to work on a system that is fair. Tweaking Medicaid may have been a much better option than putting a program into effect that was not needed by the majority of Americans. What is that old phrase? If it ain't broke, don't fix it.
Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act - Wikipedia, the ...