My employer recently made big changes to the medical insurance options employees have and I wanted to stay with the same health insurance because of the major surgery that I had in 2011..but now I am forced to transfer all my files from my medical group to another hospital because of these changes.
Even if I keep the same insurance, this hospital isn’t in network so I will need to sign up for PPO insurance and be responsible for 20% of my total medical costs..My surgery was $150K in total..Yes it was 150K..and no, it was not cosmetic surgery. lol I added all the bills that were sent to my insurance company and I was shocked to see the total..I couldn’t have afforded it if not for my insurance. So I was initially excited about Obama care. It is ridiculous that people cannot afford to see doctor or are turned down by insurance companies because of their pre-existing conditions. Now it is illegal for insurance companies to deny coverage based on pre-existing illness and it is a MUST for me because of the surgery I had. But thousands of people are getting letters from insurance companies telling them that their coverages are ending because of the new law and premiums have increased significantly. I don’t know much about politics and I normally ignore radical opinions but my friend is very passionate about politics and speaking against OBAMA care so I am sharing his article here. ^-^
For starters, the problem with US health care is costs. On average, a doctor’s visit or procedure in the US costs 4 to 5 times what it does in comparable industrialized economies such as Switzerland, the UK, or Australia. Licensing and accreditation for medical providers as well as the drafting of definitions for what entails legally recognized medicine is done in the US by private boards such as the American Medical Association; and these define medicine very narrowly and within that definition set submarket restrictions on the number of total provider licenses given. The excuse for these regulations is “consumer protection”, but in my personal opinion these are nothing more than monopolistic trusts that resemble the corporate cartels of the late 19th century. The result is that we simply have too few providers per capita, including physicians. That which is in artificially short supply will be outrageously expensive and unavailable to a significant proportion of the population.
In light of this, the so-called Affordable Care Act does NOTHING to make health care more affordable. In an effort to provide access to the poor and sick, it legally requires those with resources to pay the outrageous prices on the formers’ behalf – whether by means of taxes funneled toward subsidies, or by means of mandates that force the latter into the risk pool. However, since supply remains equally short, if this legislation succeeds in increasing demand as it hopes it will drive costs UP because said demand will be competing for the same short supply. We are already witnessing this effect with the elimination of cheaper insurance plans and the increases in prices for others.
The effect of this on the mentally ill will be nothing short of devastating. Those whose mental illness warrants legal disability are covered predominantly by Medicaid, and as insurance costs increase an even greater number of these more expensive and less likely to have high income clients will end up under various government subsidy umbrellas set up by the ACA. As we are witnessing with the website rollout, the administration of these services makes the DMV look efficient, and as someone who has worked in health care for years I can tell you this is standard and will NEVER change. Case managing various disabled adults, my biggest problem has always been locating providers that actually accept their Medicaid coverage. As one specialist confided in me – “the reimbursement rates are reasonable, but by the time you’re done paying your staff to secure the reimbursement, you have about $2 left”. The increased demand and increased bureaucracy while supply remains equally short gives providers even LESS incentive to accept Medicaid and other government-administered plans. Seeing as the grand majority of the mentally ill are covered under these plans – their access to health care will suffer as a consequence. On paper, detached politicians and bureaucrats will pat each other on the back that every mentally ill person now has health insurance document. But in reality this population will have an even more difficult time finding providers, and face long lines and delays at the offices of those who accept them. Anyone that understands the behavior of the mentally ill realizes this is no different than a denial of coverage; because the diligence and patience of this population significantly trails neuro-typical adults. True, this can partially be alleviated with the involvement of case managers and advocates, but these providers too have to be paid and are typically employed by human services agencies whose resources are already stretched paper thin.
I absolutely refuse to apologize for breaking the rosy glasses of any mental illness advocate believing in the ACA. Its outcomes don’t come anywhere near its intentions and threaten disaster for the most underprivileged of Americans. It’s imperative that we see this, and hold the politicians who enacted it accountable for the results.
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