By Dr. Arthur J. Sutherland III
The Commercial Appeal, Oct. 9, 2016
The CA editorial on Sunday, Oct. 2 needs correcting (“Obamacare needs tweaks, not scrapping”). The editorial was a response to the Blue Cross Blue Shield decision not to sell insurance on the federal ACA exchanges next year in three of Tennessee’s largest cities.
For starters, the ACA was never intended to cover everyone in the U.S. It was just another patch in our dysfunctional and costly healthcare markets which are run for profit by the insurance and pharmaceutical industries. In addition, the data shows that the ACA has not controlled cost, but has added to the problem of affordability for the public.
Why do you think BC/BS canceled coverage in Knoxville, Nashville, and Memphis? It was to avoid the larger concentrations of poor people who live in metropolitan areas who have the most need for adequate healthcare. BC/BS is trying to “cherry pick” customers who are relatively healthy or young, and who would not have the volume of claims for medications or care that a less healthy poorer population experiences.
Senators Alexander and Corker want to continue to use the free market myth to tweak the system, but the insurance and pharmaceutical industries have failed us. Americans know this, and want change that will create equity in healthcare delivery.
What is my plan? Twenty thousand physicians, nurses, and other healthcare providers support Improved & Expanded Medicare for All.