James Rohack M.D who is the director of Scott and White's Center for Health Policy feels that, "In the United States if you don't have health insurance you live sicker and you die younger,"
Bruce Malone, M.D., is the past President of The Texas Medical Association shares his views with Rohack. "I think the person who is uninsured -- especially those who are uninsured because of preexisting conditions -- they're the big winners," said Malone.
AdvertisementCongress had passed The Affordable Care Act in 2010 in order to cover all American citizens. "The person who has heart disease, or the parent that's got a child with cystic fibrosis and wants to get health insurance -- they will now be able to get that through the health insurance marketplace that will become available October 1," said Rohack.
Citizens can enroll for health covers from 1st October to 31st March at the federal health Exchange. . "The exchanges are going to be a new institution in medicine," said Malone. "It's going to be a mechanism where you can go online and shop for health insurance."
There will be four levels a consumer can choose from the Bronze Plan - where 60% of the costs are covered, the Silver Plan - where 70% is covered, the Gold - where 80% is covered and the Platinum - where 90% is covered. "To someone who has never had health insurance before, what does that mean," said Rohack. "What it means -- if you want the highest plan of coverage you are going to pay the highest monthly premium." Even though the federal government will help by giving subsidies on tax returns, the premiums will be on the expensive side. "I don't think the affordable care act does anything to lower cost," said Malone. "In fact, I think it's going to increase cost, and I think that's where the crisis is going to occur."
It is only after 1st October that there will be clarity about the actual cost and affordability of health insurance under The Affordable Care Act. Malone feels there are a lot of changes that will need to be made to The Affordable Care Act, however noble the Act may be. "There's a new regulation coming out of Washington, D.C. every week concerning medicine. My concern is that medicine is going to become the most regulated profession in the country. I've never heard of cost efficiency coming from highly regulated industries," he said.
Hannah Punitha (IRDA Licence Number: 2710062)
Jim Bergamo, September 2013
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