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Affordable Care Act has been misrepresented

July 9, 2012
Daily Press


In a recent news item in The Daily Press on June 29th ("Local Politicians, residents react to Supreme Court ruling") you reported that State Rep. Ed McBroom said the following regarding the now constitutional Affordable Care Act: "He (McBroom) added he has spoken with many residents in the area, specifically senior citizens, who have been told by doctors they cant dispense certain medications and they will have to go elsewhere because of the law".

This quote, at best is an amazing statement of ignorance about the provisions of the Affordable Care Act and at worst an overt political scare tactic that serves to prey on the fears of the elderly, all of whom rely on Medicare and most of whom do not know the details of the law. If Rep McBroom had simply searched "affordable care act can't dispense medication" on the Internet after hearing the health care professionals concerns, he would have found a breakdown in the Federal Register (non partisan) regarding the provisions of the new law that demonstrates this assertion is 100 percent wrong. The ACA benefits seniors, not threatens them. These health care professions simply do not know what they are talking about. Assuming that he talked to any at all of course.

The Affordable Care Act benefits seniors in many ways, specifically by closing the Medicare part D "donut hole" gap in prescription drug coverage, offering free preventative care, screens health care professionals in an effort to crack down on fraud and waste in the program, upgrades the medical records system to ensure better care between doctors nationwide, offers coverage for early retirees under the age of 65 who have a near impossible time buying health coverage in the open market due to age and risk but do not yet qualify for Medicare due to age, rebuilds the primary care work force by offering tax breaks to nurses and doctors to practice in areas with shortages of health care professionals (like Northern Michigan), provides payments to underserved rural areas just like the Escanaba area, offers a 50 percent reduction in name brand and generic prescription drug coverage thru medicare part D with the coverage gap being completely closed 100 percent by 2020, improves in-home care after seniors leave the hospital to reduce readmissions to the hospital saving money and improving quality of life and health, links payments in medicare to successful outcomes rather than unlimited treatment, and it increases Medicare payments for primary care doctors in 2013. For those who need to by medical insurance, pre-existing conditions can no longer be a condition of denial of coverage. There is more. Shall I go on? These are all reforms which will improve the quality of care for all residents especially senior citizens who currently rely on on Medicare.

The reality is that the Affordable Care Act has been completely misrepresented in its scope and intent by nearly every Republican politician in this nation, who ironically ridicule a governmental role in health care while at the same time praising Medicare and Medicaid, the two biggest governmental health care programs that exist. They ridicule this law even when many of the ideas first emerged as Republican ideas, many of them from current GOP Presidential candidate Mitt Romney's plan in Massachusetts. "Romneycare" existed long before Obamacare. Why is Governor Romney now running as fast as he can away from his own positive record in regard to health care? This is the one thing that Romney should be most proud of achieving as Governor. Instead, its a story he seeks to pretend never happened due to the scorn by the far right wing of his own party.

Michigan GOP Rep. Ed McBroom is entitled to his opinion whatever that may be regarding the now constitutional law but he is not entitled to his own facts. He has a duty as an elected official to offer his constituents comments that are based on facts and in reality, not on political expedience or opinion. The law is the law whether the representative likes it or not. I would encourage the seniors in the area to not listen to the scare tactics of Rep. McBroom or any other Republican. Take everything you hear from politicians regarding the Affordable Care Act and Medicare with a grain of salt and do your own research. The facts are at your fingertips. You will be happy with the truth regarding "Obamacare". It's for the betterment of the quality of the health care system in this country for all residents.

Kevin Chown

Los Angeles, Calif.

(in Escanaba

for the summer)



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