The Herald Bulletin

Morning Update

Opinion

October 29, 2013

Viewpoint: Let's proceed with Affordable Care Act

Any bad points about the Affordable Care Act are those cited by opponents with a personal agenda. The advantages far outweigh disadvantages.

The benefits to those who will be insured are obvious. It was found that 45,000 Americans died each year because of a lack on insurance coverage. Affordable Care corrects that.

Additionally, literally millions of people are able to get preventative care that allows for vaccinations and early detection of diseases such as cancer.

Health insurers are now required to spend 80 to 85 percent of premiums on actual care instead of inflated administration fees. Those overcharges are returned to consumers and employers.

The cost of Affordable Care to employers is offset by the tax credits they receive. Health care fraud is easier to trace and fraud prosecutions are up, recovering huge sums of money. That benefits everyone except those companies that control premiums and keep costs high for their own benefit. If a greater number of providers were allowed to participate, costs would be lowered because consumers would have more choices. The current practice amounts to nothing more than a monopoly.

The current state administration has decided to go against the Supreme Court ruling and not make a state Affordable Care plan available to Indiana residents. One of the biggest, if not the biggest, cost to Indiana taxpayers is funding the health care for public employees; including the governor himself. A state-run Affordable Care program would relieve taxpayers of that burden and make the government more fiscally efficient.

Hospitals cannot deny treatment to individuals without health care coverage, so the rest of Americans still have to pay the bill in the form of higher medical and prescription costs.

Of course, the program is not free, but it shifts the burden to those who would be paying the bill in the first place off of the rapidly eroding middle class. As jobs are sent to other countries and products are imported to the United States, the middle-class workers making decent wages are shrinking in numbers. The rich get tax breaks and those who live in poverty do not pay taxes. Therefore, a greater amount of tax and insurance premium burden is placed on their shoulders. Affordable Care relieves some of that burden. This in turn allows for more consumer spending and that has a benefit of creating jobs.

The Affordable Care Act was not designed to target a single group. Instead, it makes insurance available to those who otherwise would not be able to obtain it and make the entire process more efficient and cost effective. It is a simple concept. Healthy Americans are productive Americans.

Information on the Affordable Care Act as well as online applications can be found at www.healthcare.gov or by calling 800-318-2596.

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