Let's work together to improve health care


The Affordable Care Act is law despite the preferences of some Congress members. The court challenge failed, so now it is Congress’ job to work together to help the system (and economy) succeed, not fail. That might mean that changes will be required in the distribution, funding and the services themselves. How will we know until it is tested?

The Affordable Care Act is a huge and complicated program, and it might well be too expensive as it is funded currently, even with millions more paying into it. (Of course, the more people who buy in, the better it will work.)

When problems arise, as they will, our Congress needs to look for real, workable solutions. The tea party-backed candidates state that once the public gets a taste of government-assisted health care, it will be too late to reverse course, but they offered no alternatives.

Clearly, the health-care system as it has been, is not sustainable. Most people whose employers provide health-care insurance have no idea how impossibly expensive and painfully limited health-care insurance is on the individual market.

I didn’t until I had a disastrous surgery that left me barely alive and without a hip joint for a year. Due to my predicted recovery time, my employer replaced me. That was my awakening.

Since then, I have worked for health-care reform, which I am glad finally has arrived. It isn’t the system I would have chosen, but it is a place to start. If you are concerned that it might need changing, please take the time to learn about it and help fine tune it by getting involved.

There is an organization based in Pasco, Community Action Connections, that is offering a two-day training for volunteers to learn about the system and how to help others sign up for the plan best suited to their needs and budget. I plan to attend the training on Tuesday and Wednesday here in Walla Walla.

Let us move away from the politics of obstruction and move into a spirit of cooperative problem-solving. Perhaps, then, we can regain the pride we have in our country and those we elected to solve the problems we face.

Patricia Divine Wilder

Walla Walla



PearlY says...

Patricia, I appreciate your presentation of your views. I don't agree with them, but we have to be able to talk calmly and respectfully to each other about this very serious problem for our nation and our economy or there's no chance of working it out.

You faced the problems of joining the individual market when already ill, having previously had insurance through your employer. Since the individual insurance market is basically individuals joining together to protect themselves against the future risks of ill-health, by agreeing while healthy to pay in so that those who become sick are protected, it's obviously not the best place for already sick people to try to get their foot in the door.

I had the nearly life-long pleasure of extremely affordable, responsive health insurance that exactly suited my needs, through the individual market. That's because I joined in my healthy youth, chose a "guaranteed renewable" plan through non-profit Regence, a Blue Shield insurer, and put my modest premiums as a priority over other options for spending my money to make sure there was never a break in coverage. I was protected against major unpredictable health expenses and enjoyed the negotiating power of my insurer to lower my expenses even when I hadn't met my moderate deductible (usually around $1500-2000 a year). But predictable expenses like annual checkups were my responsibility.

Your case highlights the mistake of linking insurance coverage to employment, a mistake started during WWII by the Roosevelt administration as a way to let businesses get around wage freezes while seeming to advance the goal of socialized medicine. This is a mistake Obamacare perpetuates and even expands on. My situation highlights the opposite - the benefit of portable, guaranteed-renewable individual coverage. By the way, those options, portability and guaranteed renewability, are available because of government regulation, and they are good things. I mention that because anyone opposed to Obamacare is usually painted as absolutely anti-government. That's not me. Some government regulations make good sense. Obamacare, though, does not.

There is absolutely no reason why every plan in the country must include coverage for preventive care, maternity care, birth control, and other predictable expenses. That's like requiring your car insurance to cover oil changes and new tires. Insurance is supposed to protect against the unpredictable health risk, not every single health care item. Those people who want everything covered up front SHOULD pay high premiums because they cost more. People like me who don't mind budgeting for our predictable expenses and will be frugal SHOULD pay lower premiums. But now we're all treated the same, and that's going to add hugely to the costs of our nation's health care.

Well, I've gone on long enough. Hope you've recovered from what sounds like a miserable health challenge.

Posted 25 October 2013, 10:04 p.m. Suggest removal

barracuda says...

20 ***New*** Taxes for Obamacare.... Coming at us in about two months

Read about them here: http://jeffduncan.house.gov/full-list...

My personal favorite: Tax on Indoor Tanning Services........... How did they get that? Using the trusty "eeny meeny miny moe?" Really?

Posted 26 October 2013, 7:56 a.m. Suggest removal

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