A Georgia Regents University associate dean and professor cited strong objections to the Affordable Care Act on Monday – the day before health insurance exchanges began.
From his own analysis, said Dr. Mark Thompson, the Act won't save families $2,500, but will increase their heath costs by $7,450, he told Aiken Rotary Club members on Monday. Thompson is a professor and associate dean of the university's MBA program.
“There are a lot of rules that are very vague and some that still need to be written,” he said, “…This is a 2,000-page bill that is underestimating the cost.”
One of the major reasons cited for introducing the Act, Thompson said, is that it is already starting to curtail health care spending. That's not the case, as slow economic growth is the acutal cause. The Act's affordability is still in quesiton.
Health care reform is needed, but this is not the way to do it, Thompson contends.
About 85 percent of Americans have some form of insurance, he said, and the Act will not provide insurance opportunities for all those without it. The program will extend insurance for basic, routine treatments “and that's not the purpose of insurance,” said Thompson. “It's for catastrophic events.”
The exchange procedure will create more confusion for those who are uninsured or want to look at other options, he said. If a person goes online for what is supposed to be one-stop shopping, will he know what to do? Thompson asked. The wide range of plans have varying costs with decisions that can result in costly mistakes for businesses and individuals.
“There are going to be glitches…and the best IT people don't work for the government,” Thompson said.
He reiterated his concern about negative issues with many aspects of the Act. The concept that small businesses with fewer than 25 employees could pool together to get numbers on their side could be a good idea, Thompson said. But in this case, there could be different results that could lead to a lot of taxes that don't look like taxes.
In effect, the government loves power, and this legislative act puts the government into the situation of getting more power, Thompson said.
Senior writer Rob Novit is the Aiken Standard's education reporter and has been with the newspaper since September 2001. He is a native of Walterboro and majored in journalism at the University of Georgia.