Much Confusion Over Health Care

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Here’s a recent “letter to the editor” we want to pass along, submitted by one of our guest bloggers, Janet Spitz, to the Albany Times Union (July 11, 2012).  Janet summarizes how “Obamacare” affects taxes, health insurance rates, health and health care expense, and how everyone benefits.  Thanks, Janet! – JMH

To the Editor:

Objections to the Affordable Care Act, “Obamacare,” by Frederick J. Schubert (“Ruling erodes freedom in U.S.,” July 6) and Charles Coons (“Paying the price of affordable care,” July 6) are based on a misunderstanding of who pays for the current health care system.

Currently, everyone who does not have health insurance has mandatory emergency room coverage: The law requires emergency rooms to treat all who come in the door, regardless of ability to pay. Guess who pays for people using the emergency room as primary physician care (at roughly 10 times the normal cost)?

That’s right, we all do. We pay for these uninsured folks’ emergency room visits twice — first through higher premiums on our own health insurance and again through higher taxes.

Therein lies the confusion of the Obamacare objectors: We are already paying for that health care. Whatever freedom or cost is involved, it’s been going on for years.

What’s new is the structure of the health care to be newly delivered under the Affordable Care Act: Rather than expensive emergency room care, millions of previously uninsured people now will see primary care doctors and health practitioners, exactly like those of us with health insurance.

And, like those of us with health insurance, they’ll pay a fraction of the emergency room cost.

What will drive costs down further is the fact that preventive care, literally, prevents long hospital stays: People who see doctors regularly to manage chronic conditions spend far less time in hospitals than those who “let it go” in part because they cannot afford preventive care.

Familiarizing ourselves with accurate information on how the Affordable Care Act works will go a long way toward clearing up objections rooted in misinformation and confusion.

Janet Spitz

Associate professor of business

The College of Saint Rose

Albany, NY

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This entry was posted in - FEATURED POSTS -, - GUEST BLOGGERS -, Health Care, Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to Much Confusion Over Health Care

  1. joyce bugg says:

    Of course when people can see doctors, manage chronic illnesses we all benefit. I pray that there will be a way for affordable Dental care, Dental can save people money also and health problems. Having regular dental care can stave off much pain & suffering in more than one way.

  2. Muguette says:

    It is unfortunate that The Affordable Care Act has been bashed and ridiculed by the opposition, i.e. the GOP adherents. It will drive poor people who mindlessly vote Republican to cast their precious vote against their own interest. We need more letters like yours to clear up the confusion.

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