A woman put a public facebook post up about a BCBS plan in Alabama. Is this an ObamaCare problem, an Alabama problem, an insurer problem, or something else?
A Summary of the Answer
ObamaCare (ACA) sets minimum standards for health insurance in regard to cost, coverage, and network. If a plan isn’t honoring these rules we need to look at the insurer and the state insurance board, not the Affordable Care Act alone.
The woman in the video above does not make any specific point related to the law, but does express a frustration that many people have which is some regions flat out discriminating against insurance purchased on the Marketplace and high drug prices. We post about these regularly on our website and facebook page. In fact, further drug coverage reform was an issue we tackled yesterday on our facebook page before even seeing this woman’s post.
If we look at the benefits, rights, and protections offered by ObamaCare it is very clear that it is meant to help, but the anger the woman has toward subpar drug coverage is simply another sign that further reform (not less Government intervention as the video implies) is needed.
That law greatly improved consumer rights and protections in healthcare, but with so much misdirected anger one is left to wonder, “Does discrimination against the Marketplace and Medicaid at a state level detract from the conversation about what ObamaCare really does to reform healthcare?”
As an independent blog that has been focused on ObamaCare every day since 2012, we can confidently say that the ACA is trying to address the spiraling healthcare crisis that leads to stories like this.
The ACA is not the cause of the problem. The simple answer is that more reform is needed, especially when it comes to the pharmaceutical prices, narrow networks, and discrimination against low cost marketplace health plans. We hope that even if what the video above says resonates with you, you take the time to understand what the ACA is trying to do to fix the problem and what areas of healthcare need more focus.
Taking a Closer Look
As the video is going viral we felt we had to take a look at the public posts that the woman has shared. The first things that strike you is that she works in healthcare, she is from North Carolina (her mom is from Alabama), she is very religious (in what seems like a happy loving way), and she is a supporter of the VA.
Although her focus is more on God than against the Government and Obama, she does say things like, “Coming out of slavery, God sees it all, even President OBAMA!!” and “I am soooo Maaaddddddd! This CANNOT continue. We’ve got to take THIS GIANT down(insurance/government)!!! Obamacare is making people sick, killing people.”
The thing is here ObamaCare is a program that cares for the sick and the poor and is brought to you by the same we the people that run the VA (i.e. the Government). She is a big supporter of the Military (which is again, the Government).
The frustration she expresses is resonating with people, but we shouldn’t confuse this with an effort to repeal ObamaCare or to push for small government (specifically the Republican version of small Government). It’s worth noting that her and her Mom live in states that don’t embrace ObamaCare and tend to support Republicans who weaken the law on a state level. They also include weaker Medicaid programs and more doctors who discriminate against those with “ObamaCare” coverage and different laws for how insurers can operate on a state level. All of this can lead to a slightly less favorable ObamaCare experince in some states.
Really what she is saying over and over again is that people matter and that we need to care for them. Yes, she is right, that is what the ACA is supposed to do. That is what states who have refused to expand Medicaid and refused to fund efforts to care for the sick and our countries poorest have done.
We have to remember to look beyond on the law and look at the legislators if we are angry about health reform not doing enough for those who need it the most, or if we have too many hand-outs to insurers, and too much burden on the average American.
If you put Bernie Sanders in charge of writing a healthcare law, you would have the drug problem fixed and the uninsured problem fixed. When you put right-wingers from Alabama in charge of writing a healthcare law you get hand-outs to businesses and lots of uninsured. When you put them all in a room and a hundred years later a law finally comes out, you get the Affordable Care Act.
We need to be grateful for what we managed to accomplish, and work harder to make sure we get more. We need to be grateful 17 million are covered, out-0f-pocket cost assistance is an option, the Donut hole for Seniors drugs is closing, and that it is illegal for insurers to sell “junk insurance”.
If you think the takeaway from this frustration is repeal ObamaCare and vote for Bush again, you probably need to take another look at what the law really does and what the GOP actually wants.
Please read the summary of the ObamaCare’s provisions and take some time to learn about the benefits, rights, and protections in the law.