Nearly 20 states have declined to expand their respective Medicaid programs under the Affordable Care Act, a reality that has been the bane of many Obamacare supporters.
But while many liberal-leaning publications say this has left millions without options for affordable health insurance, many medical experts are quick to point out that the reality on the ground is quite different than what the political talking points would have you believe.
Just ask Dr. Deane Waldman, who has previously served as Chief of Pediatric Cardiology at three major medical institutions in San Diego, Chicago and New Mexico. In an interview with Israel Ortega on OL’s Miami-based talk radio program Opportunity Vive, Waldman broke down not just the shortcomings of the Affordable Care Act, but also the shortcomings of political leaders who fail to understand the implications of their actions.
In all of his years caring for patients, making life and death decisions on a daily basis, Waldman knows that big picture talking points often mask the humanity behind the statistics and economic figures.
“And this is something that has bothered me enormously,” Waldman said. “Recently, my 78-year-old mother was told she needed a hip replacement, an operation for which she was eligible [through her Medicare coverage], but they said the earliest they could fit her in to operate was in 27 months.”
In other words, his mother technically would receive treatment as promised – no failure of the system here, right? – but she would have to wait more than two years to do so.
“Now if you ask anyone in the medical field, they’ll tell you that having a 78-year-old woman be bed-ridden for more than two years, unable to walk due to her hip, is basically assuring that she will die either of pneumonia or a pulmonary embolism. In that scenario, they wouldn’t have to pay for her surgery, not when she’s dead before it can even take place.”
This is the reality as Waldman sees it each day: Expanded coverage, yes, but not expanded care.
“Delayed care is no care at all,” he said. “We get more coverage and less care, longer wait times, more and more chances for people to slip through the cracks and, in many cases, die because of it.”
Listen to Waldman’s full interview on Opportunity Vive below.
Evan Smith is a Staff Writer for Opportunity Lives. You can follow him on Twitter @Evansmithreport.