Product Reviews, Movie Reviews, Political Commentary

Affordable Healthcare or No Healthcare?

So what’s the plan? Republicans have been hell bent on destroying any type of healthcare plan or reform from day one. Is that because it is “ObamaCare” or just Healthcare reform in general? I watch Fox News and their poll quotes 74% want to repeal the “Affordable Healthcare Act” (ObamaCare). I watch CNN and their polls show 54% want to keep it. I haven’t heard MSNBC’s poll numbers but assume it would show 70+% in favor of keeping it. Poll numbers can not be trusted by themselves. How the questions are asked and to what group will define the results.

So what’s not to like? and what are the alternatives? The bill assures coverage for everyone through private insurers. You can no longer be dropped if you become ill and get laid off from work. Your adult children can remain on your policy until age 26 – which gives them time to enter the workforce without loss of coverage. If you have a pre-existing condition, you can still get health coverage (from private insurer) without paying an arm and a leg. You no longer have a cap – so if you need one more treatment to stay alive, you do not have to worry that your benefits ran out. You can choose your plan of coverage. The only requirement is employers must provide basic coverages. These are all good things.

The bad: your insurance is not portable, meaning you can not move out of your carrier’s area without losing benefits. For some reason, Republicans nixed that. The exchange benefit plans don’t really work. Employers are required to provide at least basic benefit coverage – which could be a financial hardship (although, there are tax incentives to offset some of the costs). Everyone is required to have at least basic health coverage or face fines. If you can not afford it, programs kick in to help out. Theory is that it will spread the risk pool to a wider range of healthy people and help keep costs lower for everyone (not to mention insurance companies will reap more profits). Many feel the government does not have authority to mandate coverage – hence the current Supreme Court review of Constitutionality. The thing is, those electing NOT to pay for their own insurance (usually younger healthier people), will still receive medical care if needed – and the tax payers foot the bill. I personally feel, like auto insurance, that everyone be required to have at least a basic care policy. If not, any medical bills incurred on your behalf, will be your responsibility until paid off, and not dismissible by bankruptcy, and subject to wage attachment. If you want to opt out of Healthcare – the burden is on you if you get sick or hurt…. don’t look to me to pay your bills.

Bottom line: As much as many (mostly Republicans) want to strike down the Affordable Healthcare Act…. a bill that was hashed over for months by both parties and had many, many compromises (most of which watered down any actual reform provisions)….. I have yet to hear a reasonable alternative. I would hope that the majority of US citizens would acknowledge that healthcare costs are out of control, more and more are becoming uninsured, if you or a loved one had a life threatening illness you would hope that our medical system would provide life saving care. We are the richest and most powerful country in the world. We are also the most technically advanced country in the world. Yet good people are dying on our watch because of inadequate Healthcare. As a society of an advanced, and wealthy civilization, we owe it to each other to have a health system for all…. not just the wealthy.

Your thoughts? Alternative solutions? I’d love to hear reasonable dialog and not just bad mouthing the other side.

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