Reader’s Write: Letter-writer misrepresents Obamacare

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Dear Dr. Stephen Morris DDS,

I am one of those patients you have written your passionate but misleading letter to. I am not only a patient, but a single divorced mother who,for years,has struggled with the healthcare system, searching for affordable comprehensive medical insurance. I did finally become eligible for a plan but was ultimately ‘kicked off’ as a result of The Affordable Care Act or Obamacare. I now have health insurance through The Affordable Care Act.

But my point in writing you this letter is to challenge some of your deceptive allegations. I took it upon myself to do some fact checking;one of which was contacting The US Department of Health and Human Services(HHS).

You wrote The HHS “was now determining exactly what medical procedures physicians could use”.

1. Your Allegation: The U.S. Preventative Service Task Force is the “politically appointed arm of Obamacare, in charge of just that”.

The Fact: The U.S. Preventative Service Task Force is actually an independent panel of Non-Federal experts; health-care experts, practicing clinicians created in 1984–well before Obama’s presidency! These members volunteer their time to review the latest scientific evidence and make recommendations about clinical preventive services such as screenings, counseling services, or preventive medications to improve the health of all Americans.

2. Your Allegation: “The Independent Payment Advisory Board will determine exactly what every doctor will earn this year”.

The Fact: The Independent Payment Advisory Board has been written into the healthcare law. It was to be comprised of 15 members, established to submit legislative proposals containing recommendations for reductions in Medicare spending. 

However, Medicare costs have not grown fast enough (this is a good thing) to require such a committee. This Advisory Board has no appointed members and simply does not exist at the present time.

3. Your Silliest Allegation: “The most ominous threat to everyone: Who is in charge of enforcing Obamacare? None other than The IRS”.

The Fact: The IRS only gets involved for those citizens that need subsidies; the part of the law that makes healthcare insurance affordable for those who fall below the poverty line. These provisions are implemented in the form of a tax credit.

4. Your Complaint: How will your fellow physicians explain their own solutions to such questions:

(a) “How would you insure people with pre-existing conditions” and

(b) “How would you prevent catastrophic medical conditions from bankrupting any individual. (no lifetime limits)”

Thankfully, The Affordable Care Act has taken care of some of your concerns.

The Fact: (a) Until now, health insurance companies could deny insurance or limit benefits to anyone for a pre-existing condition.

This can no longer happen due to The Affordable Care Act.

(b) Until now, many healthcare plans set an annual and lifetime limit on what they would spend yearly and over the entire time you are enrolled in the plan–a dollar amount for your covered benefits. You are then required to pay all costs of the care surpassing those limits. Under the law now, there are no dollar limits and no lifetime limits imposed on most benefits. In other words, you do not have to go broke.

5. Your Allegation: “Pap smears, PSA’s,mammograms etc. etc. are being judged by a group of non-medical, anonymous bureaucrats”.

The Fact: Now, under The Affordable Care Act, preventive services such as pap smears, PSA’s (over 40 years of age), and mammograms must be covered without a co-payment. In other words, the above services etc. etc. are free one time per year.

There are no “secret meetings” amongst the “Washington Bureaucrats”.

They are not telling the doctors how to run their practice or what procedures they will pay for or what medical techniques they may use. (Isn’t that what the insurance companies do?)

I don’t understand how a regulation to insure anyone with pre-existing conditions get healthcare or giving all Americans opportunity to buy (it’s not free!) medical insurance;even the poor, or giving all

Americans one time per year free preventive services such as a mammography or PSA can be “threatening the very existence of our great private healthcare system” – which had plenty of problems. 

A reorganization of the entire health-care industry is a big change. This is a transitional period. 

Everybody is trying to figure it out. But Big Brother (the government) is not watching you.

This is not a takeover of socialized medicine. Don’t be so hysterical Dr. Stephen Morris DDS

Stephanie Michaels

Roslyn Heights

 

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