Obamacare Saves Lives

I was at my doctor’s office recently and, as usual, I got into a discussion about insurance with my Nurse Practitioner.  Connie told me she has many new patients because of Obamacare and most of them had not had health insurance before, or for many years.

She said she had to order a lot of preventive screening tests for patients who had never had their cholesterol or blood sugar tested, or never had a colonoscopy.  One patient got her first mammogram and…..discovered she has breast cancer.

Connie said this patient was lucky because the breast cancer is in an early stage and can be treated successfully.  The woman got a mammogram because she has health insurance, and she will be able to get treatment because she has health insurance.  This is one example of how Obamacare saves lives.

Last week I visited with a client who is turning 65 and will be going on Medicare in June.  His wife is 62 and has a list of health problems, mostly with her heart.  I signed the husband up for a Medicare supplement and then we discussed coverage options for the wife.

Becky has several doctors and they are only in larger-network PPO plans.  This means her premium will be higher than it would be if she enrolled in a smaller-network HMO.  But she wants to keep her doctors, so I found her a Gold PPO plan with Health Net for $567 per month.

Becky and her husband make too much money (even in retirement) to get help with the premium, but they thought $567 was a pretty good deal.  Becky then asked me what is going to happen with Obamacare if the Supreme Court rules in favor of those who think people in Arizona should not be allowed to enroll through the federal marketplace and get help with their premiums.

I told Becky I sure hope the Supreme Court does not destroy Obamacare.  If the Court rules for the anti-Obamacare side, it will disrupt the entire health insurance market.

I also told Becky and her husband that, before Obamacare, Becky would have been considered “uninsurable” because of her heart condition.

So what will happen to “guaranteed issue” for everyone who wants health insurance?  Becky and her husband would pay $1,000 for her coverage because they could afford it. And the premium will likely be that high if lower-income people can’t get help with their premiums and drop their health insurance.  If we go back to the old rules, will Becky even be able to buy health insurance?

The Supreme Court decision that will be delivered in June is really about life and death for millions of Americans. I sure hope the Supreme Court does not destroy Obamacare because Obamacare saves lives – as well as people’s life savings.



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