Niagara Gazette

Columns

November 13, 2013

DELUCA: Health care had to be fixed

(Continued)

Niagara Gazette —

Certainly, there's been problems with the implementation of "ObamaCare." The act is far from perfect. But, it's something. 

Most of us have some discomfort with requiring people and companies to pay a penalty for those who aren't provided with or who chose not to purchase health care. But, really, it's like car insurance — which is required so that you don't have to pay when someone else hits you with their car.

People who don't have insurance often go to emergency rooms for their health care. Because the costs of emergency room care is so high, those bills often don't get paid.  And that's part of the reason costs of health care are so astronomical for the rest of us.

So, how do we fix that problem without requiring everybody to have health care? 

Certainly, the federal website could have been ready for the thousands who clicked on the link hoping to learn more or to sign up for "affordable care."  But these things happen. We in New York can go directly to the state exchange, which seems to have always been working fairly acceptably (www.nystateofhealth.ny.gov).

Lot of people were alarmed by letters of cancellation they were sent. Yes, somebody could have warned them. But, the way it was explained to me, their plans didn't have one of ten points of coverage that the feds now require, such as emergency care, hospitalization, prescription drugs, maternity, and newborn care for those who need it. Since our state has been requiring most of those things for years it's nothing new for those of us here.

I covered a forum this week, presented by Bene-Care, the benefits advisor to the Niagara Falls NY Chamber of Commerce, and the company's area director Jonelle Marchese confirmed what I have been hoping to hear. Individual health insurance will be a lot cheaper for those who buy through the exchange. Period.

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