Letter: Health care forum sparks concerns

To the editor:

There was a lively health care discussion at the Shawano Civic Center on Aug. 28. Three area doctors conducted a forum for over 30 participants. The providers shared how the Affordable Care Act (Obamacare) has affected their practices and how possible changes made by Republicans in Congress could affect health care in the United States. The discussion challenged ideas recently proposed in the attempt to pass a Trumpcare plan.

The doctors all agreed that the Affordable Care Act had made an impact on their patients.

Those who have health problems now go to the doctor for help rather than waiting as they had in the past and going to the emergency room when their health problems became acute. A concern was for the possibility that those with pre-existing conditions could be charged astronomical health insurance premiums if the ACA were to be replaced.

There were many questions and comments from the audience. One attendee was a Canadian who said that in Canada there are no premiums, no deductibles and no co-pays. Patients can get the care needed in a timely manner. It was pointed that this single-payer government program is the kind of health care enjoyed by patients in every other developing country in the world except for the United States . Here we have profit-driven insurance and drug companies who are fueled by lobbyists.

Many in attendance at the forum felt that health care is a right not a privilege. However, since the forum there is another concern. Now the Trump administration has limited the time to sign up for the Affordable Care Act for 2018. Spread the word to those who are in need of health care that they only have from Nov. 1 to Dec. 15 to choose a plan at www.healthcare.gov.

In order to bring about quality health care for all we must continue to be informed and let our representatives in government know what we believe.

Jan Koch,

Health care forum moderator