ACA can help prevent 'Dead Man Walking' stories

  • Article by: Editorial Board , Star Tribune
  • Updated: November 22, 2013 - 5:53 PM

Medical journal article reminds us that health reform will save lives.

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theruntNov. 22, 13 6:43 PM

Hopefully, will soon no longer be a nation where health care is rationed by ability to pay.

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chooseanameNov. 22, 13 7:53 PM

I am one of the lucky ones that had health coverage for my family through my union paid for by my employer. That coverage will be no more starting January 1st. This was not a high deductible insurance. This is not a misconception. It was an HRA that is now outlawed. I am now forced to buy health insurance for my wife and daughter out of pocket while I myself get ready to pay the fine for not having coverage. I am 31. I eat healthy. I exercise. I will no longer have health care. While some are cheering that uninsured will now be insured, what about those that were insured and will now be uninsured? Are you cheering for them?

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arspartzNov. 22, 13 8:36 PM

Hopefully, will soon no longer be a nation where health care is rationed by ability to pay.

Now it will be rationed by government favor. This is not an improvement.

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actualreaderNov. 23, 13 1:23 AM

An HRA is not insurance. It's like a tax-free Christmas Club account. If you tucked $50 away every month for a year, would you be able to buy your wife and kids gifts for Christmas? Yes. Would you be able to replace your car from that if you totaled it? No. And that's why you have car insurance and why you need actual insurance. You are 31. You eat healthy. You exercise. Try Googling 31 diagnosed with and see what you find. MS. COPD. Diabetes. Throat cancer. And that's not the MRSA, the flu, the meningitis, the other things that can send you into Hundred Thousand Dollar Land in weeks. Do you think "eating healthy" is going to prevent these risks? Do you think it's been fair for the past several decades for the underinsured who hit these walls to "force" the rest of us to pay higher costs and premiums to cover hospitals' and clinics' losses because they never thought it would happen to them?

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comment229Nov. 23, 13 4:05 AM

chooseaname: I think you owe the readers more facts. You have divulged about half of what we need to know in order to form and opinion of your situation. Have you been to the MnSure website? Have you gone to the Kaiser Foundation website where the tax credit calculator is easy to use? Have you found an acceptable policy on MnSure (you don't need to register to shop there. initially) and compared it to your federal tax credit? This same situation happened last week and when I asked the person commenting the specific "facts" about his location (zip code), income, and smoking status, my comment was banned..... I'm sorry to doubt you, and wish you well, but I think we need to hear the rest of the story.

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comment229Nov. 23, 13 4:13 AM

chooseaname: I don't intend to be demeaning, but every time I hear this situation I politely ask for more facts before I jump to a conclusion. If I told you my situation, it would sound worse than yours. I too am losing my family health insurance. It was not cancelled, but the health insurance company jacked up my premium so high on January first that I could no longer afford it. I could stop there, and make the ACA look bad. But I didn't. I then went to MnSure, and without registering, I put in my basic family information (zip code, dependents, smoking, etc.) which was easy to do. Then I looked at the plans that came up. Again, they were outrageous and I could stop there, and again, make the ACA and MnSure look terrible. But then I went to the Kaiser Foundation site, accessed their tax credit calculator, and was shocked. It was super easy to use, and gave me all the information I needed to compare to the MnSure policies. I came out way ahead on both the quality of a new policy, compared to my old one, and for less than half of what I was paying for my old one. It is easy to stop half way with information. Good luck to you and your family.

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comment229Nov. 23, 13 4:23 AM

"Those who argue that the old health care system was fine don’t understand the deadly consequences of being a “medical have-not.” Or, even worse, they don’t care.".......You can take this one step further to, and it is not stupidity, but it is ignorance. Most people do not understand how absolutely terrible the catastrophic insurance policies, than many self employed Americans have, are unless they have been forced to buy one, because, that is all they could afford. Most bought them to protect their families from bankruptcy. The policies did not provide for any preventative care, didn't have prescription coverage until the $15000 deductible was met, and you paid literally every cost out of pocket. If the worst/inevitable happened, you had some comfort in knowing that your now advanced illness would not completely devastate your family. Nobody quite understands this, until they lose their group health for whatever reason, and get a reality check almost immediately. I did. So go ahead and push that thumbs down indicator, and pretend this does not and did not happen. It's called denial.

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comment229Nov. 23, 13 4:28 AM

PS... I'll take this one step further as well. A Mayo Clinic spokesman was interviewed on a local TV station about a month ago, concerning the Mayo billing system, and its high cost affecting the resident premiums of SE Minnesota. He actually believed his own answer to this when he said that (paraphrasing here), Mayo's philosophy of preventative care would lessen expensive procedures in the long run.... I wanted to tell him that he lives in a bubble.

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lrperryNov. 23, 13 6:12 AM

A relative of mine worked for forty years at small and large companies, he paid his taxes, and was covered by health insurance. In 2012, at the age of 64, he was unemployed and could not find health insurance. He didn't feel well, but he was waiting for to be Medicare eligible to go to the clinic. He didn't make it. He collapsed in his home, was rushed to the hospital, spent a couple weeks in intensive care, had surgeries for a brain infection, and then spent a couple months more in the hospital. He went through a lot of pain, and the rest of us paid hundreds of thousands of dollars for his treatment and care through higher premiums and/or taxes. My state (of Wisconsin) representative and US Congressman are against the ACA, but they have no alternative for my relative. I've written to ask them why they think it's fine to have tens of millions of citizens with no access to preventative care, and no early medical intervention, and then have the rest of us pay the huge costs of emergency and intensive care. I'm still waiting for their responses.

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kmsheggNov. 23, 13 7:31 AM

to Comment229: Perhaps you can clarify this for me: are you premiums discounted immediately or do you have to wait for a tax credit at tax time to be reimbursed for the subsidy? I haven't really heard or read any conversation about this. I think it is a tax credit after the fact. Thanks

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