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December 28, 2016



We had to pass the Affordable Care Act because there were 12-20 million people without insurance. Now there are 24-29 million people without insurance and most people that have insurance are paying more for less coverage than they had. Or they are paying a penalty. If we are asking hypothetical questions, how many people have died because the ACA was passed?


Ingineer: Huh? Sources? Are you getting your info from Fox, Rush and Breitbart?


I know people who finally have insurance for themselves and their children. If Obamacare goes away so does their healthcare. They are worried


MaryAnn: Yes, I know several Obamacare insured who are worried, too. I wonder if a lot of the people who scoff at Obamacare don't know any people who were unable to afford medical insurance or could not qualify for it until they could purchase Obamacare.


I didn't use any of those as sources. There is plenty of data available from PBS, the CDC, Kaiser Foundation, etc. When the ACA was being promoted the number used was 12-20 million uninsured. Now they are saying it was somewhere between 12 and 44 million uninsured. And currently there is somewhere between 20 and 33 million uninsured.
And pretty much everybody that is of working age is paying more for the insurance they have and in many cases it is for less coverage than they used to have. Talk to folks that are bartenders or food servers. With the increases in minimum wage, they are no longer eligible for Medicaid or have lost their subsidy to help buy insurance. Those folks are now doing without and paying the penalty. Or talk to people that own small 1 to 4 person businesses. Their premiums have skyrocketed while their deductibles have gone up 100% to 300%.
And if you are on a bronze plan, try to find a primary care doctor or specialist that will even take it. I live in a town of 100,000 people and about the only folks taking ACA plans is the Indian health clinic.
We have spent billions in tax money and cost the citizens billions of their own dollars for a law that has not done much to really help people.


Ingineer: You have me looking around at a lot of sources. It's a pretty flawed program, a bad compromise when we needed to take out the profit making insurance companies and make it single payer. The people who dislike it most, of course, are the ones who have to pay more for themselves and their employees. I am intrigued to hear that it's giving people better salaries that is preventing them from getting insurance. Better pay them less, I guess!


Or raise the eligibility for Medicare.

Insurance is good, but to me, the real problem is the runaway costs of health care, especially for minor procedures, certain drugs, etc. I think there's some price gouging.


Brandon: My Medicare and Kaiser premiums are lower, but my co-pays are higher. Kaiser doesn't get gouged on procedures and drugs. They prescribe generics and are perfectly willing to recommend over the counter drugs instead of expensive ones. We are an added expense here on the Big Island, because we need to fly to Honolulu for some diagnostics and treatments. I have to do that soon for a CT scan.
I think for most people a managed care outfit is the best way to go. You have to keep an eye on what they do, but that is always the case. They did very well by my late mother in law and are now providing a lot of care to my brother in law in California, who is 81 and has multiple health issues.


One thing that was not addressed at all in the thousands of pages of the ACA was tort reform. The high cost of litigation and insurance to pay for litigation also adds to the costs of health care.

I think most people that have access to Kaiser are pretty happy with it. My daughter is and she just had her second child. It is not available where I live.

As for price gouging, I think that is true because for a long time there was almost no accountability in Medicare and other government run systems. Doctors and hospitals ran up the bill and the government paid it, no questions asked.


Ingineer: I think careless and incompetent docs should be sued, and good docs would agree with me on that. "Tort reform" is a right wing talking point.


I agree with being able to sue careless and incompetent docs. But the multi million dollar settlements that mostly pad attorneys pockets cost us all. There should be reasonable, inflation adjusted caps on some things.

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