“It’s nearly impossible to determine how I can be affected up to this point with Republicans bashing it and Democrats praising it, but I just want answers,” was Bob’s answer to my question on how Obamacare will affect him and every other senior citizen in our nation. Bob is a seventy two year old man from Manhasset who takes daily visits to the hospital for checkups on his health and has for the past ten years required a plethora of medication to keep him alive. He asked me “Will the doctors be there when I need them? If I can’t afford all of my medication, will the government help me?” as he questioned his future.
Although some initial effects have already begun from Obamacare, which is also known as Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, it will be in full effect starting in 2014 and everyone wants to know what this will mean for them. Everyone will somehow be affected by Obamacare including doctors, patients, small businesses and senior citizens, and with everyone giving their own input on how it will impact the healthcare system, people want answers. There is both pros and cons of Obamacare, but the real question is whether or not it will take care of its patients when they need it the most.
Senior Citizens require a lot of medical attention and need a productive healthcare system due to declining health, but what can they expect in the near future from Obamacare? “I believe this will hurt the healthcare system because a large number of hospitals will eventually become unprofitable and the elderly will have less access to help,” I was told by my neighbor John Toomey, who is doctor and very familiar with the field. A key issue is large cuts amounting to 716 billion dollars over the next ten years to Medicare that will dramatically decrease the number of doctors and health care providers which will cut the amount of access senior citizens have to them. Many hospitals and doctors will stop treating the elderly because it will be too expensive for them to function.
Although there may be negatives coming from Obamacare affecting seniors, there is also many positives that may come from this. Medicare drug plans will have to reduce the amount of money they charge for these drugs when someone’s coverage has lapsed and cannot afford more medication which is referred to as a “doughnut hole” which will reduce the amount of money costing seniors for their drugs to maintain their health. “With the amount of medication senior citizens require, lower costs for medication is a huge win for them,” John tells me when speaking about the “doughnut hole”. Also another positive that will come from Obamacare is free preventive care which provides cancer screenings, wellness visits, personalized prevention plans, vaccines, flu shots that might have been delayed due to costs. These preventive visits will help keep millions of our elders alive because they will have the opportunity to address a problem before it becomes too late.
The debate will continue on what of the most important issues in our nation today, but only time will tell how this healthcare reform known as Obamacare will affect us. Senior citizens are at a time in their life where all they want is a productive healthcare system that will get them what they need to sustain a healthy life. Will the pros outweigh the cons? Will our senior citizens be given the best oppurtunity for the medical attention they demand to keep them alive? As a now there is not a concise answer and only time will tell.