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Benefits of Healthcare (Part III)

November 2, 2013

Even now, the extreme right of the Republican Party has not given up on their attempts to delay, defund or repeal the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act. They did not hesitate to shut down the government (through the budgeting process) or destroy our economy with a self-imposed federal debt limit to accomplish the demise of Public Law 111-148. If we allow this group to continue, the health of millions of our citizens – from the wealthiest to the
poorest – will be adversely affected.
Because our 24-hours per day, multi-channel TV news broadcasts, along with many Radio Talk Shows, subsist on sensationalism, half-truths and lies, a major portion of the good parts of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act is rarely mentioned, i.e, the fact that the majority of the ACA is already in effect and improving the health of our citizens!
When visiting the healthcare.gov website, there is no penalty or tax levied if you do not like the choices the insurance companies in your state are offering and decide to not establish an account.
Those individuals 65 years of age and older who do not want the government to be involved in their health care and retirement need to think. Who manages those programs? It should also be pointed out that health statistics from various states indicate a definite need for improvements – some which the states can’t afford on their own.
As mentioned previously, Oklahoma is an excellent example of a state in need of a more moral government or a guiding hand from the federal government. There is no excuse for Oklahoma to report the 3rd highest rate of female mortality – from pregnancy-related causes – in the United States. (Source: National Center for Health Statistics/Center for American Progress) Hopefully, now that women won’t have to pay higher health insurance premiums, co-pays or deductibles than males, that will change.
President Obama’s statement, “If you like the insurance you have, you can keep it,” still stands. It was not the Federal Government that cancelled your insurance. It was your insurance provider who did not want to meet the minimum-coverage required by the Affordable Care Act, and therefore, did not offer you a new policy. That insurer may have to reissue you the same policy you carried. As the Kaiser Health News points out, “Any health insurance policy issued – prior to signing into law the Patient Protection and Affordable Healthcare Act – is ‘grandfathered’ in by the ACA and does not need to meet the requirements of the healthcare law.
When you research the substance of stories regarding exceedingly high monthly premium rates quoted on the Marketplace, you will discover that the reporter chose the most complete policy with the lowest or no co-pays or deductibles. That is why it is so important not to rely on one report. Even physicians advise us to seek a second opinion on a suspected illness.
No longer are there annual caps on the payout for catastrophic illnesses. In addition, you cannot be denied insurance for most pre-existing medical conditions and your insurance cannot be cancelled for an honest mistake you made on your initial application.
As always, if you use tobacco in any form, your insurance premium will be higher than for an individual who is tobacco free.
Conservatives say they want to replace Obamacare with private insurance. That is odd because the insurance you apply for at the Marketplace is issued by a private company, not the government. To-date, no one has put forth a better plan, guaranteeing – as the law of the land – health insurance for everyone!
Remember, all expansive programs in the past had start-up problems. For you, too young to remember the problems with Social Security, Medicare and Medicare “Part D” plans, please ask your parents or grandparents about those difficult beginnings.

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