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Ask the Expert

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Don’t like Obamacare? Show us something better

Posted: November 20, 2013 2:00 a.m.
Updated: November 20, 2013 2:00 a.m.
 

Fact: Between 30 and 40 million Americans have no access to health insurance.

Fact: In his second term, Saint Reagan signed a law requiring hospital emergency rooms to accept everyone needing assistance without regard to ability to pay.

Fact: Emergency medicine is the most expensive type of treatment and often is not successful.

Fact: Health insurance is renewed annually, so insurers often raise prices or drop persons off coverage for a myriad reasons.

Fact: Insurance companies make their money by not providing coverage. Accordingly, they have employees who are constantly looking for reasons to deny a claim.

The Affordable Care Act was the culmination of decades of desire to address the facts listed above.

The sections already active have achieved the following: Allowed children to stay on their parents’ policies to 26; required insurance companies to spend at least 80 percent of premiums actually providing care; previous conditions are no longer a cause for dropping coverage; and there is no longer a lifetime cap on coverage.

The issues with the website are irritating, but fixable. The law itself is working and will work. However, it is needlessly complex and opaque.

We have a template for a much more workable system: Medicare. It should be for everyone. It costs 20 percent less than private insurance, doctors get paid quicker, and we’re already familiar with it.

Our leaders need to think less about the profits of the insurance companies and more about the citizens. Every other industrialized nation has something like it, and they work.

Republicans have to get over the fact that the president is black and (shudder) a Democrat. Just saying “no” leaves us with the “status quo,” and from the above facts, that is not sustainable.

Don’t like “Obamacare”? Show us your alternative. We’ve been waiting for decades.

 

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