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What Republicans Don't Want You To Know About Obamacare

Update Date: Jun 30, 2017 09:09 AM EDT
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Congress is in for a rough september

Donald Trump will call this fake news. With Republican lawmakers meeting all last week behind closed doors to come up with an alternative to the Affordable Care Act (ACA), the attacks on the landmark legislation have been wildly inaccurate and misleading.

Meanwhile, the ACA is starting to show real benefits.

A new study shows that heart attack deaths in middle aged Americans in an urban county in Oregon were significantly reduced due to the expansion of Medicaid. Published in the Journal of the American Heart Association, this is the third study in a row linking insurance status to better health outcomes for Americans. Two others involved overall mortality and breast cancer. This is good news for advocates of expanding Medicare and getting more people in this country covered by insurance.

It isn't very complicated from an overall perspective. If you are covered under an insurance policy, you are more likely to see a doctor before your ailment reaches a critical point. Also what is known about people who are covered by insurance is that preventative medicine and medical advice can be more accessible and is more likely to be used and save your life before you are hit with the symptoms of a major health catastrophe that you never saw coming.

"There are very few warning signs for cardiac arrest, and the mortality rate is very high -- between 90% and 95%," said Eric Stecker, M.D. "Also, cardiac arrest is very sensitive to preventive care over a relatively short period of time."

You can prevent a heart attack only if you have the tools and advice that enable you to do so. The average American adult eats too much fat and sugar, drinks too much, eats too much sodium and does not get enough exercise. All of these habits can be curtailed by regular visits to a doctor who would and should prescribe some form of preventative treatment.

"There are about 350,000 cardiac arrest deaths in the U.S. every year, and these deaths are sudden and largely unheralded," Stecker said. "Treatment of unrecognized cardiovascular disease or risk factors can result in a lower risk for cardiac arrest within a 12- to 24-month time frame."

The Affordable Care Act is all about getting more people insured so that the prices of health care would go down. Because of the unscrupulous practices of many insurance companies healthcare premiums have risen. But that's not the overall cost of healthcare. The overall cost is associated with actually getting sick. Of course premiums would go up. You are paying for much better insurance.

What happens when you get sick? Having insurance greatly reduces the amount of money you have to pay out of pocket once you get an illness. This is the point that many Republicans and opponents of the ACA are missing. Their misleading pronouncements about how the ACA has driven healthcare costs up are disingenuous and are damaging the discussion of what is the real cost of health care. Studies like the one detailing the decrease of heart attack deaths because of the ACA are what we need to show just how much help the ACA is doing.

If you want to complain about the ACA, there are plenty of problems to choose from. Most glaring is the functioning of the insurance exchanges and premium-rate increases in certain states. Opponents are attacking the ACA for the wrong reasons. The benefits which began to show shortly after implementation in 2014 are beginning to be felt in real numbers. 

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