Legacy of the Affordable Care Act

Published 10:56 am Wednesday, September 6, 2017

The long tentacles of poor government decisions wrap around the success of our families and lives like boa constrictors. Without careful consideration of what the various ramifications are, our lives get bent out of shape to the whim of government.

While government seldom acts to harm the lives of our families, too many times they are driven by short-term goals without complete understanding or concern for what the eventual outcomes will be for those changes in policy.

Consider the latest news on the front of health care. Anthem insurance as announced that they will be dropping many policies in Virginia.

Many policy holders who have been with them for many, many years are now finding themselves in a truly untenable position.  While they were in their younger healthier years, they were well satisfied.

Seven years ago they were forced to conform to the rules of the misnamed Affordable Care Act, requiring these policyholders to buy policies and pay far higher premiums for such things as labor and delivery services well past the reproductive period of their lives. Now the headlines from the Anthem news release is that the company will no longer offer any policies to these current policyholders.

This will leave them searching for a different insurance company.

With the consolidation of insurance companies since the Affordable Care Act went into effect, there are very limited numbers of companies from which to choose. Those companies may or may not have providers in our region. They may well not include your current doctor in their network and their network doctors may not be able to handle new patients.

These problems are all because the Democrats pushed through Obamacare with no bipartisan support and no consideration of what might be the results of this thousand-page law that had little input from those affected — not providers, not insurers, and certainly not those they were supposedly helping.

These problems are now being amplified by the questions around future funding.

Anthem is simply responding to the unknown funding that may or may not be provided by the federal government.

This takes us back to those who have not yet reached the age to qualify for Medicare, but life has left them with some pre-existing issues. If the Affordable Care Act continues to fail without an acceptable replacement, how will this group of citizens receive the medical care they have grown to expect and budget for if any replacement does not include pre-existing coverage?

The course that those members of Congress who were supposed to be representing us in 2009 have put many, many Americans lives in turmoil.

Turmoil that they never should have subjected families to if they had stopped and properly vetted their legislation.

Now, it is time for the current Congress to take the steps needed to carefully correct the actions of their predecessors and come up with a workable plan that works for families as they exist today, not as they existed seven years ago.

Frank Ruff represents Lunenburg in the state Senate. His email address is Sen.Ruff@verizon.net.