News From Terre Haute, Indiana

Opinion

September 16, 2012

READERS’ FORUM: Sept. 16, 2012

(Continued)

Why repeal law which contains things we like?

Columnist Brian Howey reports that over 50 percent of people in Indiana want Obamacare repealed. Maybe. If Hoosiers are anything like our neighbors in the rest of the country, most of them actually support the main provisions of the law.

Do you think it’s good to require health insurance companies to spend at least 80 percent of their premiums on actual health care, rather than marketing, management or trying to deny claims? Do you think it’s good to let dependents stay on their parents’ insurance until age 26? Do you think it’s good to make insurance cover pre-existing conditions, so people can change jobs or insurance companies without losing coverage? That’s Obamacare.

Do you think it’s good to encourage regular preventive care, so fewer people get really sick and need really expensive care? Do you think it’s good to insure as many people as possible, so that people can see regular doctors when they get sick, instead of clogging up emergency rooms at great expense to hospitals and governments? Do you think insurance should not have lifetime limits, so that people unlucky enough to get very serious conditions can still be cared for? That’s Obamacare.

Do you think it’s good to give tax credits to small businesses that pay for health insurance? Do you think it’s good to let anyone who needs to buy insurance join with others through an insurance exchange, so they get lower premiums than they would on their own? That’s Obamacare.

Do you think it makes sense for Medicare to stop paying private insurance companies more money to cover seniors than it would cost for Medicare to cover those people itself? The so-called “cut” to Medicare just stops that extra payment to private insurers. Plus, Obamacare will get more people insurance and care in the years before they’re eligible for Medicare, so fewer new Medicare recipients will start off with serious conditions and big bills.

Whatever the Republican campaign ads say, this law does not stop you and your doctor from deciding on good care for you. It’s about how we pay for care, and whether we’re running our health care system for the patient or for the insurance companies. Is it perfect? No. But it will give us a healthier America for a lower cost in the long run.

— Samuel J. Martland

Terre Haute

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