Crossroads residents see benefits, pitfalls of health-care act
July 29, 2012 at 2:29 a.m.
Updated July 30, 2012 at 2:30 a.m.
Skepticism is expected when trying to make sense of more than 1,500 pages of jargon-laden documentation laying out the future of health care in the United States.
This is evident in most communities, and the Crossroads is no exception.
Polling almost 50 Crossroads residents, it became clear people were a bit on the fence about what was happening with the Affordable Care Act, which was upheld by the Supreme Court in late June.
Many knew some of what the act entailed, and some did not.
"Is that Obamacare?" one asked. "Oh, I don't know anything about that."
Even more worrisome and apparent was how many had the facts misconstrued and remained confused about what was going on.
This isn't surprising, said Dr. Gino Tozzi, a lecturer in political science at the University of Houston-Victoria.
"Most legislators did not read the full text of that," Tozzi said. "They don't understand the full implications of this law. We won't know until it's put into practice for a few years."
If the 1,500-plus pages of documentation was enough to make legislators' eyes glaze over, he said what makes them think the general public's eyes wouldn't do the same?
The more complex a bill is, the more misinformed and confused a person becomes; this sometimes makes them shy away from the topic altogether.
If Congress repealed the legislation in its next session, what is another option? Both parties acknowledge a problem with the skyrocketing cost of health care. The problem is the disagreement between parties about the solution.
This, Tozzi said, is called political party polarization. It's not only evident with legislators, but with voters, too.
"In the '90s, Republicans had an idea for a mandatory health care plan, but it didn't work," he said. "What's interesting is that something they were once in favor of, they now aren't."
When read some facts according the act, some who may oppose Obama or some portion of the act couldn't help but remain on the fence about some of issues.
This, too, is common, Tozzi said.
"People are very hesitant," he said about the public's thoughts on the act's issue. "We need to find out what this legislation means. People need to understand how it's going to be practiced."
Here is what some Crossroads residents had to say concerning the points in the act:
"Something needs to be done to help people who are uninsured in the nation. We actually end up paying for these people's health care, one way or another."
- Kim Trebesch, Vanderbilt, stay-at-home mom
"I think it's great, but people shouldn't be forced to do something."
- Tim Tucker, Cuero, retail
"I think it is a very good thing. When people get sick - they get sick. Everyone should have care. Everyone."
- Tristan Ohnheiser, Vanderbilt, stay-at-home mom
"If I'm not paying for it, then someone else is. I don't support it."
- Matt Garza, Victoria, worker at Ramsey's
"I think it is a great idea for your existing health insurance to be grandfathered. No new premiums and your coverage costs will not go up."
- Jamie Brown, Victoria, health safety adviser
"I think it's a good thing, but it's also going to affect some insurances. It's going to go up. It has to."
- Ben Ratcliffe, Victoria, oil and gas industry
"I favor it. It will probably raise the rates for everyone, but either they will go to the emergency room or to the doctor. Either way, we are still paying for it."
- AC Brown, Victoria, retired
"It shouldn't be that you're automatically cared for. For years, the insurance companies have said you must be risk-approved for pre-existing conditions."
- Kemper Williams, Victoria, retired
"It is great. I am a senior citizen. We are not in the donut hole, but people are on fixed income. Cost of living goes up, taxes go up, but we do not get raises. Everything goes up but income."
- Wayne West, Victoria, retired
"I just hope Obama has good intentions."
- Ngatina Gimon, Cuero, housewife
"It is good because I have two kids in college and they won't be done in the four years. At least I can help them until they get a job and their employers can pay their insurance."
- Vicky Foxell, Victoria, DeTar Hospital nurse
"As hard as it is to get a job right now, I understand. I did get insurance before I turned 27. I don't fully agree, but it doesn't bother me too much."
- Jon-Michael Lewis, San Antonio, oil and gas industry