Jun 13, 2013

Randolph Co. Tea party discusses Affordable Health Care Act

WINCHESTER, IN – The Randolph County Tea Party will meet June 20, 6:30 p.m., at the Moose Lodge, 191 North Middle School Road, Winchester, IN. The topic for this meeting is preparedness for three to seven-day short term emergencies. Speakers are John Reece and Rose Naylor

The Randolph County Tea Party held its regular meeting on June 6. The program for the evening was the Affordable Health Care Act (Obamacare), the health care side of the issue. Guest speakers were Craig Kinyon, Reid Hospital CEO and family practitioners Kenneth Sowinski MD and Daniel Wegg MD, also anesthesiologist Theresa Sowinski MD.

The panel addressed an audience of 95, which is a record attendance. They presented the history of the new health care law and changes in health care since 2010 when it was signed into law. Full implementation starts January 2014 and sign up begins in October this year. Still no one fully knows what the new health care law will bring and inefficiencies are still coming to light. The following bullet points are important facts from the presentation.

* There is an estimated 50 million people uninsured, at full implementation 30 million of those will be covered with 20 million being covered by expanding Medicaid and 10 million by qualifying for the new health exchange. The Congressional Budget Office said in 2010 it would take 10 years to get everyone covered.

* Currently, the application forms to sign up are not ready. Sign up starts in October.

* Reimbursement rates for providers are declining for various reasons. Reimbursement rates under the new law have not yet been determined for the new health exchanges.

* Hospitals are losing money, doctors and nurses are leaving the profession, all at an alarming rate.

* The health care bill is over 2000 pages and most have not read the complete bill. Also the bill was not complete when it was passed; throughout the bill there are multiple references to see U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (Secretary Kathleen Sebelius). This office will be in charge of determining policy.

* Positive features of the new law are coverage for preexisting conditions, expanded coverage for children to age 26, stopping the practice of denying coverage due to paper work errors.

* Negative features of the new law are the elimination of some preventive care for seniors 74 and older. Test like mammograms, pap smear, colonoscopy will no longer be covered and will be out of pocket expense.

* Employers with over 50 employees will be required to provide basic health insurance coverage or pay a penalty per employee. Any employee working over 28 hours a week qualifies for an employer health insurance plan. If an employer decides not to offer health insurance they must pay a penalty of $2000 per employee. Employers get and exemption of 30 employees that is not subject to the penalty.

* Increasing paper work for the Government is intruding on doctor-patient time.

* Some existing Savings accounts like Flexible Spending account (FSA) are being reduced or may go away.

* To control cost, the day where the doctor and patient work together on health care decisions may be changing to where the doctor will be in charge and dictate your care. (This is one doctor’s opinion-not in the law.)

* The consensus was the health care law did not do enough to control cost. It did not embrace free market practices, require price list for services to do comparison shopping, and tort reform.

Remember you can help by contacting your elected officials often on all the issues. This is your check and balance in the voting process to keep your elected official on their toes and working for us.

Visit www.randolphcountyinteaparty.org to see their new web site. It is in the early development stage, so check back often.

For more information, contact Ron Preston, 765-277-6701 or Todd Longfellow 765-969-4922.


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