To the editor:
It is unfortunate that most people do not understand why we need Obamacare. We have a health care financial crisis and a crisis of uninsured (people without health insurance or are underinsured). More than 90 percent are dissatisfied with the way things are going in health care, but are satisfied with what they have. There is a disconnect. I think that is because of a long history of job based insurance coverage.
Job based coverage masked the effect of the sky rocketing cost of health care and masked the effect of uninsured and underinsured. We didn't hear about financial problems until families were being forced into bankruptcy.
We didn't hear about the uninsured problem until it reached 40 to 50 million. It was assumed that these were poor and unfortunate. Yet one half of the uninsured are members of a household with a working spouse. We seem not to care about the underinsured.
I recently saw a video of the interaction of a working mother of four children with Human Relations of a fast food chain; she didn't have insurance and couldn't make it despite working full time. Their recommendations to her were to get a second job, apply for welfare, visit a food pantry, be a better spender.
People seem to be listening somewhat to insurance reform but not seriously, because the first question they ask when going to the Health Care Marketplace is how much is it going to cost me. Is this cheaper than my present plan?
They don't seem to care that they are getting a better plan and the insurer can't raise the rate or act irresponsible. They do not realize that their wages have been flat because any raise consideration was devoted to health insurance.
There is almost no knowledge or care about health care reform. I worry that if we do not embrace health care reform and make it work, and take control of employee based care, (it seems employers can't make decisions about cost, quality, and value left alone), we will not get out of this crisis or shortly be back into it.
Obamacare affects everyone; no one is exempt, even Medicare. Tri Care, We Care, VA, we will all benefit from health care reform. The individual mandate insures that most will share the cost and share the risk. People need to get informed and be good stewards of health care.
Lewis Robinson, M.D.