ACA Myth Buster: Senior Citizens will be forced to go before death panels.

Well today’s ACA mythbuster is “If you sign up for ACA/Obamacare, once you become 65 (supposedly this is the age where a person is expendable) you have to go before a death panel every so often to make sure you meet the requirements for continuing health intervention or should you be left to die since you are too “old”.   Wow, it even sounds ugly doesn’t it?  If it weren’t for the fact that people believe this crap, I wouldn’t even write about it.

Let me be very clear, THERE ARE NO DEATH PANELS.   Why do people keep saying it?  The goal is to scare people into not signing up for ACA.  Did you know the opponents have spent more than 100 million dollars on advertising to spread lies and misinformation about ACA/Obamacare. This is fear mongering at it’s worse.  Now there is a section on death in the ACA law and specific instructions in the 20,000 page document that contains the rules and regulations.  Yes, I did say 20,000 pages, probably not what you would characterize as bedtime reading material.  The only thing in the law or rules and regulations associated with death is the living will.   The law requires that all doctors ask patients if they have a living will, offer them the paperwork or help them complete a living will and answer any questions the patient might have. It is important to have a living will regardless of your age, but for people approaching the twilight of their life it is imperative that they complete a living will. The living will tells your family and medical team  what your wishes are in the event of a life threatening emergency.  Now that isn’t so scary is it?  The rules about asking patients if they have a living will is already a normal part of the process when you are hospitalized or go to the emergency room.  The rules and regulations also specify that people should be encouraged to update their living will every five years.  This is the information that has been used to manipulate people into believing that there are death panels contained in the ACA law.  In addition, no one is going to make you complete a living will.  It is your choice.   That is all that is in the law.  So once again let me assure you there are no death panels.  Patients who are on Medicare are not going to be turned down for treatment simply based on their age or their ability to pay.

I do want to address one of the big benefits of  the new ACA/Obamacare law being enacted.  This is something that really contradicts the idea of death panels, regardless of a person’s age.   Currently, people who have health insurance may have limits on what the plan will cover per year and even a lifetime maximum that the plan will pay for treatment.  As an individual, a mother, niece, granddaughter, I could not imagine having to listen to someone I love say they had to quit what could be a life saving treatment due to financial constraints.  Imagine a parent who finds out one of their children has a catastrophic illness, desperately wants their child to have treatment, but also worries about their other children suffering because this treatment could bankrupt the family and still the treatment may not cure the child.   Did you know more than fifty percent of bankruptcies in this country are due to medical bills.  Many times people die after a long illness and the family pays the price after they are deceased.    It is certainly my hope that you won’t face a catastrophic illness such as Cancer, Heart Disease, Parkinson’s but if you do, your coverage under Obamacare will protect you.  It does this in a couple of ways.  First, your insurance company can not drop you or refuse to cover you  due to a pre-existing illness or because you come ill.  In addition. due to ACA/Obamacare  an insurance company can not set a lifetime maximum of benefits.   You will be covered for as long as you need to either save your life or help  you enjoy the best quality of life possible while you are will.  If you have a catastrophic illness, there is one less thing to worry about. In fact, you might say that ACA gets rid of death panels, because insurance companies will no longer be able to set yearly maxes or life time maxes in terms of what they will pay if you become ill.  This will surely help people so they won’t lose their home, their credit, or suffer any other financial disasters due to a life threatening diagnosis.  One more myth busted.

The purpose of this blog is to educate people about the truth concerning ACA.  I have not only a professional interest but also a personal one in insuring that everyone gets health insurance.  I have had the PCIP coverage of ACA for almost two years.  This is the silver health insurance plan that people using the exchange will have access to.  It has been a wonderful insurance plan and enabled me to get the health treatment I really needed.







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