The Affordable Care Act — Is Our Future At Stake?

30 Jan

by Heather Grace IPJ Staff Writer

After reading information on the Affordable Care Act from (what I believe is) an unbiased source: http://www.businessinsider.com/what-will-change-with-obamacare-2013-10, I wasn’t put at ease. The article confirms what I’ve been hearing from patients and doctors alike. I fear for our future–I really do.

BIG ISSUES WITH THE AFFORDABLE CARE ACT:

  1. Already in 2014, many low income/poor people who want insurance cannot get it. In truth, the ACA WILL NOT HELP UP TO 2/3 OF THE 8M POOR IT WAS INTENDED TO HELP! Though people thought the poor would get free coverage under ACA, most won’t. Of the 50 states, 26 did not expand Medicaid coverage through ACA. (Families without dependent children don’t qualify in these states, for example.)
  2. People who want to keep their “good” PPO insurance plans are already paying a huge price… they all got notices of increased taxes & have been paying them since January (if they could afford to). IN A FEW YEARS, TAXES WILL GO UP EVEN MORE FOR PEOPLE WHO CONTINUE TO KEEP THEIR CURRENT PLANS INSTEAD OF CHOOSING A PLAN ON THE WWW.HEALTHCARE.GOV SITE!
  3. Our overburdened system is already getting worse as a result of the ACA. Docs that either help people at low cost -or- are good pain care providers are seeing record #s of new patients & it’s getting hard to help them all. Because of the government’s “take it or leave it” pricing, staff cuts &/or lower cost (often less skilled) staff will be necessary for all providers that will ultimately survive the next 4yrs & beyond. So will across-the-board budget cuts. Preparations for these inevitable changes are underway. Why? PROVIDERS MUST REDUCE COSTS BY $1.6B WHILE ADDING UP TO 40M PATIENTS TO THE SYSTEM! With a system that’s poised to pay less but ask more of everyone, what’s the incentive to go to medical school? Why be an RN when you can become a CNA or LVN? The possibility that brilliant healthcare practitioners will be paid what they deserve in the future is bleak. Staffing shortages are sure to follow.
  4. ALL THESE ISSUES MAY LEAD TO A SERIOUS HEALTHCARE CRISIS if pie-in-the-sky ideas like “encouraging patients to lose weight/make healthy choices” don’t dramatically reduce the burden on the system, along w/ongoing cuts. If we can’t serve up to 40M more people with $1.5B less money, OUR HEALTHCARE SYSTEM MAY END UP BECOMING A LOT LIKE WORKERS COMP IN THE NEAR FUTURE. WC caused my permanent disability due when my spinal cord injury that wasn’t cared for appropriately. No one should wait 2yrs+ for a desperately needed MRI & then another 5yrs+ for much-needed surgery to fix a disc that’s severely pressing on the spinal cord! Yet, I did. By the time I got my surgery, it was too late. My career, my home, any chance of getting back to “normal” — everything was gone! Think I’m a rarity? Think again! I’ve met far too many people just like me, who were seriously injured &/or permanently disabled by WC’s medical neglect.

DO YOU WANT YOUR FUTURE TO LOOK LIKE MY WORKERS COMP EXPERIENCE? I lived this misery & I don’t want this sort of ‘healthcare’ for anyone! Short of expecting *everyone* to pay cash for procedures instead of waiting (assuming they can afford to), what can we do to ensure a better future for U.S. healthcare? Any ideas on how to prevent catastrophe?! Let us know in the Comments section, below. Good luck to us all…

About The Author
Heather Grace is an Intractable Pain Sufferer, Writer & Advocate. She’s Co-Director of the 501c3 nonprofit Intractable Pain Patients United (http://www.ippu.info), has been a Speaker/Conference Planner at For Grace’s (http://www.forgrace.org) annual Women in Pain Conference and is a Pain Ambassador for the U.S. Pain Foundation (http://uspainfoundation.org).

© 2014 Intractable Pain Journal & Heather Grace. All rights reserved.

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2 Responses to “The Affordable Care Act — Is Our Future At Stake?”

  1. Michael Hricinak April 23, 2015 at 12:34 am #

    The ‘Affordable’ Care Act is NOT affordable but just another lie from our DICtator president. My premium for 2014 was $600 per month. This went up to $750 per month in 2015. What else that is not being talked about is DENIED CLAIMS. For the 2014 year to 2015 so far, I am being billed for over $20,000 in denied claims. These are not extraordinary claims…normal lab work and doctors appointment fees. These claims were paid with ease preACA.

    Another thing not being talked about is the amount of prescription drugs that are not being covered….50% less rxs on the list…and NO INJECTABLES allowed. Trying to get authorization for an uncovered drug is usually a flat out NO. And Rx co-pays…$5 for generic and 50% for brand. And you know how expensive brand name drugs are.

    After paying over $1000 per month in premiums and co-pays, how can I or anyone afford to pay for the denied claims? I do fear the future especially since I may be cut off from my doctors for not being able to pay these denied claims. Then I have to look forward to the 2016 premium increase….another $150 per month or more???

    It Should flat out be called The Unaffordable No Care Act. I am mad, scared and embarassed that our country would do this to it’s own and that no one is willing to stop this madness.

    Like

    • thepainjournal June 1, 2015 at 8:14 pm #

      You are so right! I’d love to do a follow-up story, because I hear what you’re saying UNIVERSALLY! It’s truly awful. When the ACA/ObamaCare was up for a vote, I saw it for what it was: a way for our government to get their hands on the huge bonuses that used to go to insurance company execs. More than that, they now *run* the system? There’s no free market here. Not anymore. Sad but true. And what, if anything, can we do about it now??

      Like

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