Since the Democrat-written and Democrat-passed Affordable Care Act came into existence, millions of Americans – like myself – have lost their health insurance. To make matters worse, some of those people – like myself – have been diagnosed with cancer and other diseases which require years, if not decades, of “chronic care”. For those who are able to continue working through their treatments and who have been able to acquire health insurance through the ACA and through new plans offered by their employers, their deductibles and their premiums have doubled and, for many, could double again in 2017. For those disabled by their chronic conditions, they are placed on Medicare and disability at a great cost to the government.
Virginia Senator Mark Warner, for the last year and a half, has been working with Finance Chairman, Senator Orrin Hatch (R-Utah), Senator Ron Wyden (D-Oregon) and Senator Johnny Isakson (R-Ga) on a Medicare Reform bill aimed at making chronic care for medicare patients more economically efficient. Using technology and expanding home outpatient programs to reduce costs do appear to be a more efficient delivery system for Chronic Care patients looking to avoid unnecessary hospital visits (The Hill)(Politico). The downside is, that this bill does nothing to address the systemic problems which make it necessary in the first place. Catastrophic Insurance used to exist at very low prices and actually kept people off of the Medicare rolls before their senior years. The ACA is forcing hundreds of thousands of people who would have otherwise been covered by private insurance plans, into programs paid for (or at least subsidized by) the federal government.
Programs in the draft bill include expanding a Medicare pilot program that sends doctors and nurses to care for people at their homes, increase flexibility for groups of doctors who are paid based on coordinated care for patients called “Accountable Care Organizations,” and increasing the use of telehealth, where technology allows doctors to consult with patients far away. The Hill
It is actually cheaper for hospitals, in many cases, to send a nurse to your home, then to put you up in a room. It would also save everyone a great deal of money to be able to meet with their doctor from the comfort of a laptop, then to meet with them at a hospital at a high cost, often for only 15 to 30 minute consultations and reviews.
While it does appear that this up-coming legislation will save taxpayers money, it fails to address the greatest factor contributing to rising costs and prices – The Affordable Care Act itself. (USN)