If the purpose of the Affordable Care Act is, indeed, “to provide affordable, quality health care for all Americans and reduce the growth in health care spending” then it seems the law comes up short.
Specifically, the “affordable” part. We’ll trust the trained medical professionals to do their jobs. The issue with the Affordable Care Act, President Barack Obama’s signature legislation since being voted into the presidency, is an outright failure in providing affordable plans to the average American.
Let’s make clear that when we say “affordable,” we do not mean based on one’s ability to pay. Instead, we mean that one can, after paying a monthly insurance premium, be able to maintain a similar quality of life after the implementation of the ACA as before.
For far too many individuals, that is simply not the case. At first, we thought testimony offered by Congressman Richard Hudson to be either anecdotal at best or, at worst, illustrative of what was thought to be instead of what actually is. That’s not the case. In so many instances, insurance premiums are doubling, tripling or more for the people who simply can’t afford it.
According to Hudson, one self-employed man with a family of four will see his monthly premiums increase to $968 from $669. Another person’s letter of eligibility indicated the premium to $1,600 from about $700. A third example from Hudson: a self-employed mother of three expects to see a monthly increase of nearly $200 while benefits would decrease under the ACA.
At first, we thought these examples might merely be political fodder; fuel for the fire, so to speak. However, as reporters from Civitas Media, parent company of The Richmond County Daily Journal, pursued data on an in-depth ACA package that appears on pages 1A, 4A and 5A of today’s newspaper, there were more reports of skyrocketing premiums and decreased benefits.
Well, what do you think of it? We respond with, what can we think? Sun Cook, of Harlan, Ky., summed it up quite nicely: “You have to be satisfied because you have to do this, like it or not.”
Except we’re not in agreement with that gloom-and-doom perspective. We think there is time for lawmakers to act. President Obama is to be lauded for a significant, real effort at health care reform. But his missed the mark, and now’s the best time for him to say so.