As beneficial as Obamacare will be to those without health insurance, it doesn't end there
We keep hearing about people without insurance running to the emergency room only to find out they have a ruinous illness or worse. The bills for emergency room services can drive individuals and families into bankruptcy, clogging the bankruptcy courts and costing taxpayers more and more money as the years go on. Obamacare remedies this once dreaded scenario, but the Affordable Care Act does so much more.
There is no way for Medicaid to estimate or budget who’s going to need emergency health care when they arrive at the emergency room, so there is no way for the government to do any real actuarial to plan for any of these services or how prolonged the illness might be.
Even if someone qualifies for Medicaid after the fact (which happens all the time), it is an unexpected expense to the state and federal budget, just as it is to the individual patient and their families.
Private health insurance companies know exactly how many people they have insured, can project what they are going to spend and therefore, can control costs and make a huge profit on top of it all. The advertising budgets for private health insurance companies have been outrageously high, but with the ACA (Obamacare) advertising is limited.
Since the private insurance companies are the source for the exchanges and will therefore continue to make profit, they must spend at least 85% on patient care or send out refund checks.
Another huge advantage is research grants. If everyone in the United States has health insurance through a private insurance company or as part of the exchange (state or federal), researchers who study cures, vaccines and treatments will have a more accurate head count measurement of just who and what they are projected to pay for.
Research grants are awarded by statistics and the only way to have proper statistics is to have a proper head count for everyone, not just those who can currently afford insurance. This will definitely drive down costs and who knows what innovation will come of it.
Another benefit is the disease registries. When a patient is diagnosed with a specific disease such as cancer, heart disease, stroke, and other illnesses, a disease “registry” is kept with the patient added to it.
These patients are tracked and monitored while treatments, diagnosis, prognosis and death rates are tracked to help guide research and development in medicine. Currently, the disease registries are skewed since 48 million people do not have health insurance and therefore no statistics on anything.
How about staffing? Currently, trauma centers and emergency rooms are only staffed for a certain amount of patients. It’s quite common for these places to be permanently understaffed. Doctors and nurses get exhausted and patients wait for hours and hours for care.
I have heard John Boehner speak repeatedly about Obamacare being a job killer, whether that is proven true or not, there will be jobs in health care. The roll out of Obamacare is going to take approximately five to ten years and will include additional staffing in departments like clinical, IT, engineering, accounting, Health Information Technology, disease registries and even cafeteria workers.
These facts alone persuaded me years ago that this health care reform was desperately needed in the largest developed country. Why else would so much medical innovation come from France (HIV), Sweden, and even Cuba?
The United States has the ability to lead the world in research and medical advancement but somehow, that part of the ACA has not sunk in yet for some people. Probably because they didn’t bother to read the law or at least research the topic themselves.
Health care is a human right and in order to be the best country for health care (the U.S. is ranked 37th), these statistics and budgeting for future treatments is vital to growth in a capitalistic free market system.
Obamacare or the Affordable Care Act is the law, passed by all three branches of our government. It is sound, reasonable, and an effective landmark legislation that yes, President Obama will go down in history for. It can’t be all bad, after all, a Republican from Massachusetts implemented it.