Seniors hear “the other side” of the Medicare story
More than 100 people showed up Oct. 28 at Peachtree City Hall to learn more about the transformation of the American healthcare system and its potential impact on Medicare recipients.
Addressing the convoluted topic were St. Joseph’s Hospital oncologist Dr. Brian Hill, insurance expert and Atlanta-based Healthcare Visions, Inc. CEO Ron Bachman and Sharpsburg independent insurance agent Linda Mulligan.
Hill in his remarks likened coming effects of national healthcare reform to what has been experienced in Massachusetts since its version of healthcare reform took effect in 2006. The national plan is the same plan, the same structure and the same idea as the Massachusetts plan, he said.
And under that plan, said Hill, costs have gone up 23 percent, while private insurance costs have gone up 6 to 14 percent.
“To see a doctor, the average wait time is 60 days compared to 34 days before (Massachusetts adopted the plan),” Hill said, noting that significant numbers of doctors are getting out of the Medicare business. “It’s failing miserably and it’s not bringing about the effective change we need.”
“The national healthcare reform legislation adopted earlier this year is like the Massachusetts plan on steroids,” Hill added. “So the work doesn’t end of Nov. 2. The work begins on Nov. 3.”
As he has done in a number of similar venues in Fayette County over nearly two years, Bachman gave his overview of the political and regulatory landscape that brought about the current state of national healthcare reform.
Bachman is president and CEO Healthcare Visions, Inc. and a retired partner with Price Waterhouse having spent 30 years as an insurance actuary. Bachman is also a Senior Fellow of the Center for Health Transformation (CHT) and a Senior Fellow at the Georgia Public Policy Foundation (GPPF).
Mulligan during her remarks as an independent insurance agent discussed the variations in Medicare Advantage plans to seniors and disabled individuals under the age of 65 in Fayette and Coweta counties.
In her comparison of different plans, Mulligan cautioned consumers to research both the supplement and Advantage plans and their coverage components prior to any purchase. On several occasions she stressed using www.medicare.gov as a research tool.
The event was sponsored by The Greater Fayette County Republican Women’s Club, the Coweta County Republican Women’s Club, the Senoia Tea Party Patriots and the Fayette-Coweta 912 Patriots.
Sponsors of the Oct. 28 event said they will present a similar venue in the near future, one geared to all healthcare consumers. The meeting will be held Nov. 16 at 6:30 p.m. at Atlanta City Church, located at 320 Dividend Drive in Peachtree City.