Thursday, December 12, 2013

We’re learning about health insurance

Suddenly America is talking about health insurance at the kitchen table and in the living room.

It’s not just the pros and cons of the Affordable Care Act that we are discussing but substantive issues like how much health insurance costs, deductibles, pre-existing conditions, mechanics of how to obtain it and what’s covered.

Senior citizens are accustomed to this as they discuss ins and outs of supplemental coverage and Medicare’s prescription drug coverage among themselves, and have been for years.

While there is plenty of talk about dissatisfaction with ACA’s rollout, people are more concerned about how it affects them and what their own situation is or may be in the future.

What people are not doing is  sitting around talking about how to repeal Obamacare. Most people realize the law is here to stay and they want to make the best of it. To be sure, they are free with their suggestions about how the law can be improved, but most acknowledge that something had to be done about our health insurance system in this country.

The point is, people are thinking and learning about the issue. This is a good thing. It means people will come to grips with the high costs, realizing, among other things, what a valuable benefit they are receiving from their employer, is they are so fortunate. They might also begin to realize how much it costs their employer to provide such benefits, and how perhaps their employer could expand the company and hire more people except for the burden of health insurance.

From there, it’s an easy transition to start seeing that there must be a better way.

Then perhaps people will realize that the Affordable Care Act has launched us on the way to reform. Certainly it will need changes, but we are at least started on the road to a better system.

(For a helpful discussion about employer-provided insurance see “Health Care Costs And The Third-Party Payer Problem.”)

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