Cadiz, KY

Opinion

New political leaders should 'accentuate the positive'

Wednesday, February 01, 2017 - Updated: 2:07 AM
BY TONI MARTINAZZI Columnist

Health care in the United States is another hot button subject. People are angrily arguing about the pros and cons of Obamacare and what to do to make health care affordable and available to all American citizens. The other night, when I couldn't sleep because of thinking about what our new leaders could do about it, a song from my childhood popped into my head.

Now, more than ever before, we need to Accentuate The Positive: "You've got to accentuate the positive, eliminate the negative. Latch on to the affirmative but don't mess with mister in between. You've got to spread joy up to the maximum. Bring gloom down to the minimum. Have faith ..."

So, what is positive about The Affordable Care Act or Obamacare? Several things, actually. It covers all Americans. Children may stay on their parents' policies to age 26. People of any age cannot be denied coverage because of pre-existing conditions. Insurers can no longer gouge those with pre-existing conditions by charging them higher premiums. Annual wellness doctor visits and pre-screening for Medicare beneficiaries are both covered.

Insurance companies can no longer impose lifetime limits on what they will pay their insured plan members. Also they must provide detailed Explanations Of Benefits in a uniform way so that people can compare policies and know what is covered. Women have unique health care needs that are covered. People can keep their own health care providers.

Great. Now, what is negative that we should eliminate or change because it has not worked out as promised.

In many cases people have lost access to their doctors. A doctor must be in the insurance company's "network." In other words, if your doctor isn't in their network they won't pay as much so they are selecting who you can see and still be covered. Premiums have skyrocketed and deductibles have soured. Anyone over 21 is not a child but it would be helpful if they were covered until about 23, after the usual four-year college age, but not until 26.

Getting complete Explanation Of Benefits is great, but why not over the Internet rather than waste the mega tons of paper, postage and ink that have been used and have added to the pollution of our environment? Private companies have saved millions by using the power of the Internet to communicate with consumers. A Pew Research Center study shows that 30 percent of Americans have no home broadband so paper copies should only be sent to those.

Health care should start us taking responsibility for our own health. Abortion services should only be available in rare cases of incest or rape. Information on how to get a healthy diet, weight and lifestyle is easy to get.

Americans should be responsible and only in cases where they are neither physically nor mentally capable, only then, should they get government help.

Our government simply cannot afford to babysit us. Remember, we are almost $20 trillion in debt and that debt is growing higher every day.

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