Yet another benefit from Obamacare. One of the lesser known features of the ACA was new guidelines and rules to try to reduce “hospital acquired conditions” – things like patients receiving the wrong medication, or improper sterilization leading to infections.
The new law has helped. According to a new report from the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, the ACA saved approximately 87,000 lives and $19.8 billion saved over the last five years (since the rules took effect).
Or sick student nurses coming to work and spreading her superbug all over the hospital. Took me nearly ten years to rid myself. I would complain on my yearly visit, until finally after five years, I requested a swab. PA called frantic “You have MRSA”. Now they tell me after all my complaining, now they are frantic. So I contacted infection control. Told them time, day, and year the student nurse was there. “Too late to do anything about it,” she said. So some nurse somewhere is continuing to spread superbug. Since I don’t take antibiotics, my body had a huge resistance to the superbug. But I was spreading it to my family.
Don’t worry, Marco Rubio is on the case! Trying to sneakily accomplish what several dozen house votes has not.
Since cell phones have become so ubiquitous, it has become difficult to contain things in hospitals as everywhere else. People wash their hands, but their cell phones not so much.
Hand-phone-hand-phone-hand… You get the idea.
Doctors and nurses, like the rest of us, carry them.
Another way to look at it is that, a lost-opportunity cost of $19.8 billion has been subtracted from GDP.
No wonder the GOP hates the AFA.
I have been a strong supporter of the ACA since Day One, but I fear for its long term solvency unless and until we can figure out how to reel in the still rampant escalation of healthcare costs. Things seemed to level off in the early going but have apparently resumed their inexorable march to crazy new heights the past couple years.
Case in point: As the result of a downsizing (pharma R&D guy here) in 2010, we lost our employer-sponsored health insurance. Although a year of severance and 18 months of COBRA carried us for a time, being self-employed as a consultant I was then forced to shop the private market and was only able to afford crappy catastrophic coverage with a $10K deductable that was still well over $1K/month. So we felt fortunate when the ACA was enacted. Decent coverage for three still wasn’t cheap, even with the subsidy we qualified for (my under 18 teen was put on Medicaid as part of the subsidy). Long story short, my premiums have gone up more than 20% in each of the past 2 years and are slated to go up about that much again for the coming year to nearly $2K/mo! Fortunately, I was able to find new employment recently that provides health benefits, but until then I was beginning to wonder how we were going to afford health insurance and still eat too!
The problem with the ACA as currently implemented is the preponderance of older, less healthy people signing up, while many younger, more healthy people are opting out and choosing to pay the penalty fee instead, resulting in a less healthy customer base overall with more and more expensive, claims than would otherwise be the case if we had a universal coverage/single-payer system (ie. Medicare for all). United Health Care is posting losses for the last quarter or two and has publicly stated it may not participate in the Marketplace after 2016. Others may also follow suit.
I understand Obama didn’t press for single-payer as he didn’t believe it had a snowball’s chance in hell of passing this “No-bama” Congress. But what we ended up with in retrospect appears to be a Band-Aid on a gaping wound that is only getting larger every year and threatens to become the “Death Spiral” Republicans have been gleefully predicting from the start. As it stands now, the ACA is quickly becoming neither affordable nor able to provide the level and quality of care expected for the steepening costs incurred, especially for those on the margins of the economy, which was its primary objective. For an “exceptional” country, we seem to be exceptionally bad at truly affordable healthcare.
There’s just one problem. The truth is that 5% of patients create half of the total health care costs. Furthermore, these 5% are all in their last year of life. And multiple studies have shown that the more money spent on health care in the last year of life, the worse the quality of death becomes (nobody should want to be kept alive through extraordinary medical care that makes them feel terrible).
So, if we stopped spending so much money in the last year of life, we could save half of our medical expenses in this country (so your health insurance cost could be cut in half), with no loss of quality of life (in fact, most of the time an increase in the quality of life).
Sounds good, right? But then, Sarah Palin comes along with “Death Panels”. And the Tea Party starts screaming about it.
We have met the enemy, and they are us.
I am now one of the elderly. The elderly have a choice about healthcare. They can not get health care. “come back in six months so we can check you, ” This for the skin cancer that I’ve been the only one to diagnose. And on and on it goes. You can spend your declining years getting healthcare or you can just enjoy yourself and be out exercising. If the MD or PA says that you need something, you may decline their suggestions. I’m learning to “just say no” to medical care, medications, etc. Better to be out pounding fence posts than using all that insurance I pay for.
Oh, and I do self medicate daily with one medication treatment for my asthma. Not covered by insurance the 100 day supply costs $2.64. So almost .03 a day. I do have to have a prescription.