Sentinel-Echo.com

Columns

August 20, 2013

My Point Is...Where’s the Beef - in health care forums?

LAUREL COUNTY, Ky. — Franklin D. Roosevelt coined the phrase of “The only thing we have to fear is fear itself,” which amply applies to the passage of the Affordable Care Act, more commonly known as “Obamacare.”

The remaining six weeks before employers begin enrollment for mandatory health insurance still has unanswered questions.

Despite numerous health care forums recently held in the area, the specifics of the Affordable Care Act still remain ambiguous, even for those who attended and participated in these forums. Instead, these public meetings became yet another platform for political bickering about a bill intended to put a seal on rising health care costs. Participants often leave these forums feeling bewildered and disappointed.

The major question regarding the Affordable Care Act is simple: How will this affect me?

The Republicans credit “Obamacare” as a Democratic bill they must stop. Reportedly, the Republicans want to delay the health care bill for both employers and employees for another year. With the enrollment period for employers just six weeks away and employee enrollment going into effect on Jan. 1, people care less and less about the politics of the Affordable Care Act and more about what it will mean for them.

As more “health care forums” are scheduled in the area, it is imperative that our political leaders cut through the issues and give solid answers to the concerns of the people — or more simply put,  get to the meat of the issue and leave the condiments of politics in the Capitol City.

The next health care forum should focus on the concerns of those affected and provide answers to questions such as:

• What are the penalties or options for employees who do not use employer-provided health care coverage?

• How will mandatory dental and vision coverage for dependent children listed on a health insurance policy affect lower income families who are currently receiving Medicaid coverage?

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