by Jayne D. Frank
For those of you that dismiss articles like this because you are young and otherwise busy, this affects every one of your parents, especially your mothers. Since Obamacare was passed, seniors have seen severe changes which have been unreported by the media and unpublished by many blogs and newspapers. Specifically, I can only talk about what has occurred in my life with regard to this draconian law. I am 65 and in good health, mostly because 1) I have had and paid for my own insurance premiums since the beginning of my work life, 2) I have had my regular checkups with my family doctor as well as my gynecologist, and 3) I try to eat well and keep active. In other words, I have taken full responsibility for my medical care and health for many years and have never abused the system such as going to an emergency room for anything short of inability to breathe or anaphylactic shock.
Here’s the gripe people like me have with Obamacare: we are being denied healthcare, even as early as 2011. I will give you specifics to back up my claim:
1. In my doctor’s office immediately after passage of Obamacare, I saw a posted sign which said that the office was changing the way it operated (keep in mind what the law contains). Paraphrasing, the sign said that the doctors would not always be available, but that other professionals in the office would be sure to take care of you “as a team.” It indicated that records would be changed to electronic and that you could access your records by email. Keep in mind that for many people in their 80s and 90s, they have no computer skills, don’t own a computer, and would never sit down to email about their blood test results or health records; therefore, they will be forced to neglect their own healthcare. The most egregious part of the sign indicated that “in the future we will be discussing “your goals” versus “our goals” for your health to give you the care you want. In other words, the “death panel.”
2. Our insurance premiums for the two of us have gone up 30% in one year just for the supplemental insurance that we pay. Now we find out that the cost-of-living increase in 2012 will be offset by the increased Part B and Part D premiums; in fact, the cost will be higher for those parts of Medicare. During this same year or two, our cost of living has increased for everyday items – our food, our heating costs, our gas for our cars; a real crunch for American families that are working and have a family, but a severe drain on the fixed income of seniors. This eventually will translate into a decision not to go out to dinner or to travel; for those under the poverty level, that translates into whether to eat or take prescription medicine.
3. During my annual gynecological visit, I was told on this my 65th birthday, that medical experience suggests that women of my age stop having gynecological exams because the incidents of ovarian cancer or cervical cancer are rare. These are the latest statistics on both types of cancer for women 65 and over:
- Women ages 65 and older account for nearly 25 percent of all cervical cancer cases and 41 percent of cervical cancer deaths in the United States.
- Women ages 65 and older have a cervical cancer incidence rate of 16.8 per 100,000, compared to 7.4 for women younger than 65. The incidence rate is the number of newly diagnosed cancers per 100,000 population during a specific period of time (usually one year).
- In more than 50% of cases, ovarian cancer occurs in women over the age of 65; but younger women can also be affected. The incidence dramatically increases with age, reaching its peak in the late 70s. Approximately 70% of women with ovarian cancer have extensive disease at the time of diagnosis. Many times, doctors are trying to get away from regulations for not addressing ovarian cancer in the older age group by suggesting that women just remove get a hysterectomy.