Just Sayin’ …Healthcare in America: Replace or repair? (Ulish Carter's Column May 10, 2017)

ULISH CARTER

Well, the Republicans behind President Trump did it.
Or did they?
The U.S. House passed the American Health Care Act by a 217-213 vote last week, thus bringing to reality a promise they made and Trump made during his campaign.
“What a great group of people!” President Trump exclaimed at the White House, arms raised to salute the dozens of lawmakers who hurried to join him in the Rose Garden immediately after the vote. And at the same time, the Republicans had begun to show that perhaps they can come together and govern the country now that they control Washington in full.
“Make no mistake, this is a repeal and a replace of Obamacare, make no mistake about it,” Trump declared. “Premiums will be coming down, deductibles will be coming down, but very importantly it’s a great plan.”
Democrats countered that the GOP bill would have the opposite effect from what Trump predicted, pointing to estimates it will kick millions off of their health insurance, while imperiling coverage for people with pre-existing conditions who had gained protections under President Obama’s Affordable Care Act.
Oh…did I forget to include the fact that now the bill goes to the Senate, which will take their time debating, which will lead to changes that will never get the 60 votes needed.
There are a lot of Republicans who don’t like this bill but voted for it because they promised their voters they were going to “Repeal and Replace” the Affordable Care Act.
Not REPAIR, but Repeal and Replace, at all costs.
Yes, the Affordable Care Act is in great need of some repairs, even the Democrats admit to that, but it is better than the NOTHING that preceded it the hundreds of years before President Obama.
I’m not a doctor or lawyer or politician, but the way I see it and many people who have ACA, here’s what can be done: The deductibles are entirely too high. They’re in the thousands of dollars, not hundreds like car insurance. The deductibles need to be cut in half or more.
No one should be forced to have insurance? That I put a question mark on because we are forced to have car insurance and only a fool wouldn’t have homeowners insurance and they have deductibles, but more reasonable deductibles such as $250 to $500.
There must be some kind of government controls put on prices of prescription drugs, what doctors can charge, a ceiling put on how much doctors can be sued for and controls on the cost of health care. Compromises can be made in which, instead of all government control or all private industry, run a combination of the two.
Western Pennsylvania may have the solution—UPMC and Highmark seem to be doing just great combining insurance coverage with hospitalization. You go to them for your insurance, as well as any medical problems you may have. The only problem is, if there were just one, it could form a monopoly.
Health care is not something that can’t be solved if the politicians really wanted to. But instead they want to play politics on both sides while people are suffering and dying.
Also in this proposed law there would be massive cuts in Medicaid so that the rich one percent can get their tax cuts. This will negatively affect the poor and Blacks.
Illinois Gov. Bruce Rauner, who is a Republican, released a statement saying, in part, “The bill that passed in the U.S. House (May 4) continues to be of deep concern to our administration. Recent changes did not address fundamental concerns about the bill’s impact on the 650,000 individuals that are part of our Medicaid expansion population, nor have those changes eased the concerns of the 350,000 people in the individual market who are dealing with skyrocketing premiums and fewer choices. We will continue to voice our concerns as the law moves to the Senate.”
The Governor’s numbers are dealing with Illinois alone, not the millions that will be affected nationally.
The American Medical Association released a statement saying, “The bill passed by the House health insurance and those with pre-existing health conditions face the possibility of going back to the time when insurers could charge their premiums that made access to coverage out of the question. Action is needed, however, to improve the current health care insurance system. The AMA urges the Senate and the Administration to work with physician, patient, hospital and other provider groups to craft bipartisan solutions so all American families can access affordable and meaningful coverage, while preserving the safety net for vulnerable populations.”
People with pre-existing conditions are the major concern of most, but even more, people simply want the cost of health care to come down. The Republicans argue that moving from government to private businesses will do that, yet it had not in the decades before President Obama’s ACA. However, most people on the news programs had no problem with people with pre-existing conditions paying more, their concern was these people not being able to get health coverage at all.
Bottom line…This is a government vs. private industry battle that both sides need to work together to get real affordable health care.
(Ulish Carter is the former managing editor of the New Pittsburgh Courier.)
 
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