Reactions mixed, volatile on health care reform

Christine Cardamon sells insurance. But she hasn’t been able to buy it for herself. She couldn’t get insurance because of rheumatoid arthritis. She flirted with buying an expensive policy that would exclude that condition. She got accident coverage, figuring at least that would be covered if she was injured somehow. When she investigated other options she found it would cost her more than $8,000 a year out of her own pocket before insurance through a high-risk insurance pool would kick in, so she decided she’d do without. Ultimately, she got married and by luck he had insurance that covers her, no questions asked. But at the press conference sponsored by Utah Health Policy Project, she wondered why people in those different situations were treated so differently when it comes to coverage.

Bobbi Mathews told of having good insurance, until they reached the lifetime cap because of a syndrome called DiGeorge that damaged her daughter’s heart, parathyroid and immune system before killing her at age 15. ACA bans lifetime caps.

Some advocates of the act believe the expense will over time stabilize and even save money. Jennifer Hyvonen, external affairs director for the Fourth Street Clinic in Salt Lake City, which treats homeless and low income individuals, said they’ve had several homeless patients who needed some hospice care they couldn’t access. They hoped to die in the shelter, with some medical attention, but instead had to be transferred to the hospital and more expensive care.

“There are parts of the ACA that are wildly popular and there are parts that are wildly misunderstood. No one disagrees that sick children shouldn’t be denied coverage, or that an insurance company shouldn’t be able to drop an insured when they get sick. Our elected officials should be working to implement the (act) for the benefit of Utah’s citizens and working within the law to provide substantive alternatives to make the law better, rather than continuing with their hyper-partisan attacks,” said Maryann Martindale, executive director of the Alliance for a Better UTAH.

The American Academy of Pediatrics hailed the court’s ruling. Its president, Dr. Robert W. Block, said the act “invests in children’s health from the ground up.” …

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