Reader's view: Affordable Care Act will make this a better country
Do you know anyone over 65 who doesn't appreciate Medicare? Before it went into effect in 1966 there were numerous dire predictions that it would be a wasteful, socialized, big-government boondoggle from Washington. This sounds just like current ...
Do you know anyone over 65 who doesn't appreciate Medicare? Before it went into effect in 1966 there were numerous dire predictions that it would be a wasteful, socialized, big-government boondoggle from Washington. This sounds just like current alarms about the Affordable Care Act, sometimes called Obamacare. Its implementation will convince even skeptics like Dr. Waldo Avello, the writer of the Aug. 1 Local View column in the News Tribune, "Nanny state in Washington can't solve local health-care problems."
As Dr. Avello noted, the Affordable Care Act started out with important benefits for many poorly insured or uninsured people. It offers coverage for preventive care and women's health needs, it eliminates insurance company exclusions for pre-existing conditions and lifetime coverage caps, and it provides financial help on a graduated scale for individuals and small companies to buy insurance. Plus, according to the Congressional Budget Office, the Affordable Care Act will lower the deficit and reduce overall costs.
Beware of unsound fix-it schemes promoted by anonymous political action committee donors. Administrative overhead and fraud prevention are better under Medicare than private insurance companies. Volunteer outpatient programs cannot deal with complex needs and procedures for 45 million uninsured. Many states with buyer-beware insurance systems do not adequately provide consumer protection from predatory profiteers who can confuse even the astute among us. Various malpractice system improvements would be welcome, but never have lowered costs in states that have them.
Some politicians rant on about the federal government until help is needed that can only be supplied at the national level. There is no perfect system, but progress is possible if positive people of fairness and good will come forward to improve health care for all.
As a second-generation Duluth physician, recently retired after 44 years of practice, I believe we are in this together. Please vote for Obamacare supporters to make this a better country.
Dr. Matthew Eckman