Health Care

Kelly Ferguson | January 22, 2014

Unaffordable health law is harming Oklahomans

Kelly Ferguson

Some Oklahomans are discovering that President Obama’s “Affordable Care Act” is anything but affordable.

In November 2013, lifelong Oklahomans Sue and David Dodson received a letter from Mr. Dodson’s employer informing them that due to the implementation of the Affordable Care Act their deductible would be increasing. Mr. Dodson’s premiums and deductibles had previously remained consistent over the past 11 years of his employment with the same company. Not long after, a second letter came, announcing another hike in prices. The Dodsons’ deductible had risen from $750 to $1,800 in less than two months, with no added benefits or coverage. Mr. Dodson’s glaucoma medication has skyrocketed to $60 -- more than double what the Dodsons had paid before. Without it, Mr. Dodson will lose sight completely in the one eye in which he still has vision. This shocking price increase left the Dodsons unable to afford the health care they have had for over a decade.

Moreover, Mrs. Dodson was let go from the small firm where she worked, partially because the firm was unable to afford insurance coverage for their employees.

“As far as we’re concerned, we don’t have health insurance,” Mrs. Dodson says. “We’re going to have to do what they did when they didn’t have insurance. We’re going to pay cash, and we’re going to go to the doctor only when it is absolutely critical.”

She says screenings are the only service affordable to them, but what good are screenings if you can’t afford the doctor visit to treat whatever the screening discovers?

Didn’t President Obama promise the only changes we would see would be falling costs of health insurance? Aren’t Sue and David Dodson exactly the kind of people the president said would benefit from the implementation of his new health law?

… if you’re like any of the Americans I’ve met across this country who know all too well that the soaring costs of health care make our current course unsustainable, I imagine you’ll be watching their progress closely. I’m talking about the families I’ve met whose spiraling premiums and out-of-pocket expenses are pushing them into bankruptcy or forcing them to go without the check-ups or prescriptions they need. Business owners who fear they’ll be forced to choose between keeping their doors open or covering their workers. Americans who rightly worry that the ballooning costs of Medicare and Medicaid could lead to fiscal catastrophe down the road.

Indeed, the president promised that those who already have health care won’t be required to do anything and should expect more benefits at affordable rates than what they were already receiving. But as the Dodsons can tell you, that promise was false.

By Kelly Ferguson

Kelly Ferguson

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