To the editor:
I participated in Senator Pat Roberts’ town hall meeting on June 20. One man thought the Affordable Care Act would reduce his Medicare access. Sen. Roberts could have corrected this man’s misunderstanding by listing the benefits to Medicare under the ACA: 1) more preventive services without charge, 2) lower cost on drugs in the “donut hole,” 3) more support for doctors to assure treatments are consistent, 4) maintained Medicare-covered benefits and continued choice of doctors, and 5) extended life of the Medicare Trust fund at least 12 years.
Sen. Roberts could have said that the ACA was originally a Republican idea and is similar to former Gov. Mitt Romney’s “Romneycare.” After six years, more businesses have provided insurance coverage for their employees, costs are not rising as fast as before it was enacted, more people are covered, and after a short adjustment time, wait times for patients have returned to normal.
Sen. Roberts could have mentioned that the ACA will help reduce costs as more people are insured, preventive care is stressed, and there’s more competition between insurers. The ACA allows children under the age of 26 to stay on their parents insurance and no one will be denied coverage for being sick.
But Sen. Roberts instead said that the October marketplace deadline might not be met, giving Congress an opportunity to get rid of the ACA, so we can go without these benefits and still be the country with the highest health care costs for the lowest of outcomes.