November 8, 2012

PUBLIC FORUM: Obamacare offers bad things, too

— I would like to respond to Mr. Southern’s “Obamacare is really a good thing” article (Pharos-Tribune, Oct. 22). He is correct. There are good things in the bill. However, there are also a lot of not-so-good things. Because I only have 400 words to respond, I will just state the not-so-good side of the story. Remember that to cover pre-existing conditions and have unlimited pay out limits, the insurance companies must have the money to pay these claims. This money will come from increasing premiums.

As premiums increase, more and more will be forced to choose the lower end of the government plans. Current Medicare and Medicaid reimbursement rates will not be enough for new doctors to repay the cost of medical school within a reasonable amount of time. Thus, the number and the quality of doctors will deteriorate.

Government provided insurance is socialized medicine. In America, if we need an operation, we get it. In countries with socialized medicine, if they need an operation, they go on a waiting list. Do you want your mom to go on a waiting list that can be up upwards of three years to get a hip replacement? 

If your employer has under 50 employees, he does not have to provide health coverage. Due to the additional costs, employers will not have incentive to hire more than 49 employees. If they currently have over 49, they may determine that downsizing is the most economical move for them. In addition, keep in mind that in most cases, the penalty costs less than the insurance premiums will cost. This is not going to increase the number of Americans with insurance coverage. 

Obamacare may be the first attempt at changing the system; however, it has a long way to go. It definitely will not be at no additional cost to any of us. Talk to your doctors and tax advisers to get the rest of the story. 

There may not be “death panels,” but that doesn’t mean you will receive the standard of care we as Americans have come to expect. And keep in mind, if you present in the emergency room today, you will be treated. 

Two sayings from my grandparents apply here. Nothing is free. You get what you pay for. 

Let’s not accept the first idea that comes along. We as Americans are better than that.

Michele Hardy, Walton