Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Modify or Repeal...What's the Best Road?

In this time of uncertainty over health care reform, we have seen some substantial changes. No one really knew what to expect as lawmakers themselves admitted that they wouldn't be able to tell the full impact until the law was in place and rolling right along. 
Within the landscape of all of this, we see many people being helped by the new laws. These are the people who needed health insurance. The aged and the chronically ill were no longer being told "no" and they are now getting the proper care they need to either get better or at least deal better with the issues they face. Children are now getting the care they need within the plans being offered. Children being able to have their teeth taken care of and/or get their eyes checked regularly. (There is nothing in place to help the obesity problem in our country, but that's for another blog).
Since the law went into effect, we see so many people seeing the flaws in the process. Everything from out of sight premiums to their primary care physician no longer in the mysterious "network" within the public exchange plans being offered. When flaws show their ugly heads, everyone has a way to "fix it". Many in Washington, DC are still fighting for repeal of the whole thing. They are still saying, "It's not too late". Other are saying it's fine but that some things should change and adjust to make it better. Who is on the right track? What will make this process best for everyone? Well, let's look at both sides and then you can decide.

REPEAL IT! Those who shout "repeal" are wanting to scrap the whole thing and make it their own. I can think of millions who signed up because they needed proper care for health concerns and before the law came into effect, their pre-existing condition kept them from that. Sure, they could get seen and treated if it was a severe accident/emergency, but we're talking about an illness that could slowly kill them over time without treatment. What would a repeal do for those people? I'd like to think I look at everyone when it comes to making sweeping decisions. I'm certain that one of the reasons the ACA came into effect is for these people and it is helping them. I don't want to think that those people would be negatively impacted by a full on repeal of the law. A full repeal would effect others as well, but that's what we have to consider (in my opinion) when we talk about scrapping a plan and starting over. However, you want to start a repeal process? SOAP BOX...Stop calling it "Obamacare". That's not what it is. It's PPACA, which is short for the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act.

FIX IT! Have you ever had a car start "acting funny" on you? You're not sure what's wrong but you know something is. So, you take it to the mechanic and they run some tests and diagnostics to see if they can pinpoint the issue and fix it. The ACA "fix" option is kind of like that car. It has so many working parts and I'm sure we all have our particular thing we'd like to see adjusted. Fixing it could be the better option (SOAP BOX...let's PLEASE stop calling it "Obamacare". That's not what it is. As far as "fixing it" goes, let's start there. OFF SOAP BOX). The shell itself is in place. We've got the framework for something special that could be amazing for millions and now we need to find ways to make this as painless as possible. The biggest issues you hear are certain doctors not being in the network of the public exchanges, premiums are too high, medications are not part of the plans, and the fines and fees associated with being required to have health insurance that meets the guidelines set out by the government. Do I have answers to all these things? No. Are there people out there who could put some great ideas on the table to consider what options there are in fixing some of these things? Yes. Maybe even you and me.

At the end of the day I see a "fix" mentality being a better idea for everyone. So many people, including myself, have had to adjust how they do things because of the requirements of the law. Business owners, individuals, insurance carriers, and even the government entities like the Department of Labor and the IRS. I'd like to believe that in the end we all would like something we can be proud of and know that it is helping people in the right way fro them without being a burden on those who may not need it or are fine with just having "the basics" met for them.

The key for you is to be sure you have people around you and that you can contact to help you as things change (and they will change). You will need to be informed and keeping up on your own may not be in your job description. That's where people like myself come in. I stay informed so that when you have a question about your health plan situation, I can be there to help and guide. I don't want to see anyone struggle with this process. That's why with my colleagues and self-study on what's going on with this every day I know we can (at least) keep people aware and informed and be there when others need us.

If you need some options and answers now, I am a phone call/text away (205-370-8453) or you can email me at gene@generamsay.com.

Top image comes from here.
PPACA image comes from here.