Blog PostNovember 26, 2013

Two stories, One problem – The Affordable Care Act

Affordable health care happens when patients are in charge and power removed from health insurance and government bureaucracies

A Washington, D.C. television station posted two news stories about the Affordable Care Act (ACA) within hours of each other. Though the stories were unrelated, together they highlight one glaring – and increasing – problem with the new health law: people are getting stripped of both their health coverage and choice in care.

The first story posted recounts the latest Gallup poll regarding attitudes toward health care in the United States:   

“69 percent of Americans rate their personal coverage as excellent or good, but only 32 percent say the same about health care coverage in the country.” 

A couple of hours later, the same station posted a story about a woman who will lose her employer-based health insurance due to the ACA. She is now scrambling to find health insurance. She has kidney cancer: 

“Debra Fishericks, who has been working for the past 10 years at Atkinson Realty in Virginia Beach, has been scouring for a plan that fits her, but is finding that current premiums and plans are out of her price range.

“They just go up high and higher when there is a pre-existing,” Fishericks told CBS News. “Will I have my same specialist? Will I have to search for other specialists? There’s so many unanswered questions.”

The woman in this news story is among five million people who will see their own health insurance cancelled. An American Enterprise Institute analysis predicts up to 100 million more could comprise a second wave of cancellations.

Despite its well-intended goal to provide universal coverage, the ACA is doing just the opposite for many people.

Instead of setting a cancer patient scrambling to find a new health plan and interfering with the 69 percent of Americans who think their health care coverage is “excellent or good”, the Affordable Care Act should instead make this coverage better by addressing runaway healthcare costs.

The runaway cost problem has been around for decades and made health coverage too expensive for too many people in the first place. This cost problem is why reform was needed. If not addressed, the ACA will fail.

Job Creators Network believes changes to the health care system should include the following elements:

  • Fix the cost problem by putting patients – rather than insurance company or government insurance bureaucracies – in charge of the dollars being spent for their care

  • Improve upon the President’s goal of universal coverage by giving a basic minimum contribution of health care expense dollars to every adult American and family, regardless of income and job status.

  • Reform medical malpractice to a system similar to workers compensation where all injured patients can find access to relief not just patients who attract powerful attorneys. This reform would virtually eliminate the practice of defensive medicine which increases health care costs exponentially.

  • Ensure portability of insurance and by letting the individual or family choose and own their coverage with the dollars given to them and under their control.

  • Protect against rejection for pre-existing conditions when an individual or family switches to different coverage.

With these changes that put patients in charge and take the power away from health insurance and government insurance bureaucracies, the ACA can be made more affordable – and even more affordable than our current broken health care model.