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May 22, 2013

ANDERSON: The Health Care Reform Act: Some facts to ponder

The Health Care Reform Act — also known as Obamacare — has drawn some lines in the sand. Why? 

As a social worker and an activist, I have witnessed the horror of a lack of medical insurance on individuals and families. I have helped to bury people who died too early and who did not know how to fight for their right to life — many discharged early from local hospitals due to a lack of insurance. 

While not the official reason listed, lack of coverage did play a role because often the doctors expressed concern. I personally heard the following words in two cases — doctors who in disgust said, “I don’t think you should be leaving but it’s not up to me, you don’t have any insurance.” 

I won’t mention the hospitals or their locations, but it happens every day.

Today, I was taking a class in water aerobics and overheard a conversation about “Obamacare.” I heard more than I could tolerate without butting in and asked how the gentlemen thought it would hurt us. His reply was that it already was. 

“How?” I asked. “I am paying more for my premiums,” he said. I then reminded him that most of Obama Care wouldn’t even begin until July 2014. It seems he understood insurance companies were upping the ante now in anticipation of “what is going to happen.” Hence this column. I Google searched and asked a question: “What will happen if Indiana doesn’t expand Medicaid?” There were pages of responses, and none good.

There is a simple understanding of how our tax dollars work. We pay them and the government spends them. If we opt out, then our tax dollars should go down because we aren’t participating. In this case, that’s wrong. 

Our tax dollars will go to other states for their Medicaid expansion and our state will lose $26 billion dollars by 2020. Those federal tax dollars won’t go down; they will merely go somewhere else. Our dollars need to help our people. It is as simple as that. Without Medicaid expansion, here are some of the ramifications:

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