Obamacare is a step forward for society
September 11, 2012
Let’s strip away the political rhetoric and look at the benefits of the Affordable Health Care Act of 2010 that primary-care physicians and their patients see every day. I am a 1959 graduate of Aspen High School and a family physician with a passion for prevention, who has practiced in Glenwood Springs since 1973. Prior to passage of the health care reform bill (“Obamacare”) I witnessed a costly, fragmented, inefficient, unfair medical system in which physicians were paid to order tests and do procedures and to take care of sick people rather than prevent disease; where many patients could not find insurance because of pre-existing conditions and therefore received inadequate or no care; where patients without insurance received expensive and episodic care in emergency rooms, driving up medical costs for everyone.
Since health care reform in 2010, physicians are now getting paid for performance (patient outcomes); Medicare and private insurance are now paying for wellness and prevention; patients no longer can be denied insurance for pre-existing conditions; young people are now covered under their parents’ insurance.
Does the Affordable Health Care need to be tweaked? Of course, it’s not a perfect bill (very few are). But it was clearly an important step in the right direction and achieved something both political parties have been talking about for decades.
Think long and hard before you vote in two months; let’s not go back to the bad old days of American medicine.
Greg Feinsinger, M.D.
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