Patient-Centered Reforms Needed to Lower Costs and Increase Access to Care
On Tuesday, Interim House Budget Committee Chairman Diane Black (R-TN) led a hearing entitled “The Failures of Obamacare: Harmful Effects and Broken Promises.” During the hearing, members of the committee and witnesses spoke about the need for patient-centered reforms because Obamacare is restricting access to care and driving up costs.
Congressman Bill Johnson of Ohio said: “I’ve listened to some of the questions and comments by some of my colleagues on the other side of the aisle and I want to agree with one of the things that they say. They say it’s not about statistics, it’s about people. But, yet, they cite statistics about coverage without acknowledging the fact that coverage does not necessarily mean affordable. Because I can tell you in Appalachia Ohio, along the Ohio River, there are thousands of people who, because of the high premiums and the high deductibles, they don’t bother going to the doctor. Even though they might have coverage in the theoretical sense or the technical sense, it’s not affordable and does not give them quality health care.”
Dr. Robert Book of Health Systems Innovation Networks said: “The main reform I would suggest, the one thing that we all want is to not exclude or make it impossible for people with pre-existing conditions to get coverage. I myself had multiple pre-existing conditions when I left my previous employer and had to go and buy my own insurance and this was before the ACA reforms took effect, and I had no problem getting insurance. I did have to pay for it, more than the average person, but I had no problem getting it and that was under a law that was passed at least a decade before. On the other hand, now that Obamacare is in effect, I’m paying two-and-a-half times as much for my premium and my deductible has gone from $2,400 to $7,000, my out-of-pocket is $13,000, and I am one of those people that was supposed to be helped by the bill as a self-employed person who pays for his own insurance and has pre-existing conditions.”