To all the folks that have contacted me to tell me healthcare reform isn’t free, I know. From a comment on my Healthcare Reform Benefits page,”Lots of benefits and everything is free…NOT!”. People against the Affordable Care Act (ACA) don’t like the references to no charge/no cost preventive office visits to screen for diseases. In addition, they are concerned about the mounting debt that it might create.
Did I say life was free and easy?
First, healthcare reform is not free and no one ever said it was. How many government owned, operated or regulated services and products do we interact with every day that are paid for with taxes, but for which we don’t actually receive a specific invoice.
- Clean rivers and lakes
- Clean air
- K – 12 public school system
- Homeland security
- Afghanistan war
- Iraq war
Where are the howls of protest to these “free” items. “Oh, please give me back polluted rivers and streams, the cost of clean water is killing me.” That is a response to free public goods I have not heard. Unlike the above public free goods, individuals and families will receive a specific invoice every month or deduction just for health insurance.
So many sleepless nights worrying about profits
But the area that I see the absolute most philosophical disconnection is the defense of the insurance companies. From the page comments, “The insurers have to eat the cost of first-dollar preventive care services and how do they recoup their new expenses? What other choice do they have besides raising premiums.” Oh, please excuse me while I entrust my health to a company that at its core is guided by shareholder ROI.
My insurance company is smarter than my doctor
The larger philosophical question is if we accept that business decisions should be a governing factor in determining health care outcomes? We are very insistent that doctors and patients should be making healthcare decisions, but we abdicate this position when it comes to acquiring health insurance.
Health insurance has become the de facto gatekeeper to healthcare services. Without insurance you can’t get comprehensive care. The big question is how much of your healthcare decisions do you want dictated by business? Is it “OK” for an insurance company to deny a life saving procedure because it would cost them too much money?
Did you just say that!
Folks, please look at what you are saying and writing. You are implying that business is more important than the welfare of your neighbor. Really? Are you serious? Much of the ACA is centered around preventive medicine. There is no argument that catching cancer early has better patient outcomes and cost less money. Yes, this costs money. But we shouldn’t be tripping over dollars to pick up a dime.
If you can’t get insurance or it is too expensive, then you have a high probability of never even having a doctor-patient relationship. Is it a family friendly policy that allows insurance companies not to cover the basis of humanity: child birth? Insurance companies currently have the right not to cover maternity in their individual plans in several states.
Jobs, Jobs, Jobs
Another argument that gets thrown at me is the ACA is job killing like this from a Facebook post.
“I do blame the President for the job killing ACA.”Let’s see we our having the biggest economic downturn in our lifetime, what shall I do? I know! I will propose a massive new piece of legislation that will cost a ton of money and make employers afraid to hire anybody!!!!!”
Health insurance is evil, IBM just doesn’t know it
If any employer who doesn’t hire a necessary employee because of the ACA is out of touch with reality. The ACA is partially responsible for hiring in the healthcare services market place today. These jobs can’t be sent to another country. Plus, if offering healthcare to your employees is so expensive and evil why do all of the major U.S. corporations do it?
There is ample evidence that providing health insurance to your employees results in higher productivity and profits. While all the doomsayers are screaming about the cost of the ACA, they need to look at how good basic healthcare has helped them or their families remain productive.