Vail Daily letter: The elephant in health care
November 13, 2013
The "elephant in the room" with us that is causing the current crisis in health care insurance is the cost of hospitalization and related items. The Time magazine article "Bitter pill: Why medical bills are killing us" explains this in full detail. I am sure you know this article. The objectives, promises and the goals of The Affordable Care Act cannot be achieved until this issue is fully resolved. Why is this not on every "talk" show and highlighted in the media every day? I will not give my opinion on this question.
I will also not detail the yearly increase in health insurance costs that we, as private individuals, have endured since 2008. Now it becomes unbearable. Cover Colorado is dropping everyone. The "bronze" affordable health care plan in Eagle County will cost an "individual female" of 58 about $1200 per month with about a $5,000 deductible, and there are no doctors available in Eagle County. As we can find, in Denver, the cost of this bronze plan would be about $400 per month. There are at least five other Colorado counties affected in a similar manner. For reference, currently, one of us pays about $500 per month with a $6,000 deductible under Cover Colorado.
What is the basis of this massive inequality for the "Affordable Care Act" health insurance policy across Colorado counties? How many other states/counties are facing this issue? Where is the "risk sharing" promised by the Affordable Care Act? Overall, where is the cost reduction promised? I know that people who can afford more will necessarily have to pay more. However, how can the price of a policy be three times higher in Eagle County compared to Denver? I believe it is very safe to say that most of us who actually reside in Eagle County are not three times richer than those in other counties.
How and where can we start to talk and then quickly understand enough to make the changes needed? Where do individuals find a voice? Again, why do we not hear about this on a daily basis in the media?