Yesterday I received a mass email from an old college buddy asking me to write my congressman to “Defund Obamacare.”
Though far from perfect, the Affordable Care Act (“Obamacare”) will give access to basic health care to 30 million more Americans, allow people with preexisting conditions to have insurance, and people will not lose their insurance because of a change in employment. This is a step in the right direction.
I am concerned how unaware people who may benefit from the ACA are of the potential advantage to them. Insurance exchanges and eligibility evaluation for expanded Medicaid coverage are taking effect in the near future. I encourage all those who have had difficulty obtaining health insurance to access www.coloradohealthinsuranceexchange.us/ or www.hhs.gov/healthcare/rights/index. for detailed information regarding an opportunity to have affordable health insurance. County social services offices are also good resources for information and help in navigating this admittedly complicated process.
I now work in a clinic where the great majority of our patients are uninsured and daily I see people whose health care problems are becoming financial disasters. Snow riders out there, be aware that torn knee ligament or boot top fracture may cost you $20,000-30,000. Few of us can afford these out of pocket costs.
In the next several months there is an opening to insure yourselves and your families against these financial hardships and I hope people will take advantage. However, you must be proactive because doing nothing may well invite a “penalty” for not having insurance. The penalty admittedly is small (2 % of income) however the risk of being uninsured is much greater.
Rather than bashing health care reform I hope that we can embrace its benefits and look forward to improved access to care for all.
Jim Oberheide, M.D.