What impact on PD care if Obamacare/ACA is gutted?

Anyone here given much thought to how insurance coverage for PD could change if president-elect Trump's administration guts the Affordable Care Act/Obamacare?

PD's been my first real encounter with ongoing medical care and daily medicines. I'm too young for Medicare, not on Social Security Disability and am self-employed, so am paying for my insurance. I've taken comfort knowing the coverage I had before my DX for PD would continue under the 'pre-existing condition' protection. Now, I'm not feeling so secure.

Haven't waded deep in to this yet. Thought I'd toss it out there to see if anyone else had looked into the practicalities of medical coverage for PD would be affected in a Trump administration .

For those outside the US, I realize this is rather inside-baseball (er, i guess that phrase itself is inside-baseball) but hearing the news today of the appointee for Secty of Health and Human Services and his long-running disdain for ACA/Obamacare... it seemed topical for putting out there for discussion.

Y'all's thoughts? Strategies?

31 Replies

  • It is scary to think about. Hopefully he will keep his word from the 60 minute interview where he said he would not get rid of pre-existing conditions being covered on healthcare policies.

  • Here's what concerns me. That pre existing condition protection came in three parts and Trump may be speaking of preserving only one of them - namely, that within your policy, insurers have to pay for medical bills related to your pre existing condition.

    But .. What Obamacare also required was that insurance companies had to continue to make that insurance policy available to you ... and... They couldn't jack up the cost of your premium.

    Having the first of those three things is practically speaking, meaningless without the 2nd and 3rd.

    Just something to watch out for in all the discussions

  • We're screwed.

  • The ACA mandated many benefits for all policies that all people may not wish to pay for. One benefit added was the removal of a lifetime cap of $2 million of benefit. That change increased premiums 2%. It was a cost that was not needed because with no medical underwriting an insured could change companies if they thought they were going to reach the cap.

    Some of the changes might be to reduce the cost, the cap might be reinstated. There are other benefits included which some may not need nor wish to pay for. Freedom to design your own plan and pay for what you want in the plan was taken away with the ACA. I would not worry about losing your ability to have coverage. You will probably gain the ability to reduce your cost of the coverage you want.

  • Stock up on as many meds as you can. Think about using pot if necessary, and just remember by law a hospital is not allowed to turn you down for care even if you are uninsured> I am constantly being asked to give money to charities, including PD organizations. Well, I say screw them! I am my own friggin charity!

    Here's to holiday hope to us all, and a special thanks this morning to pauldmd-he is my hero!

  • I fear Dr. Tom Price, Trump's pick for Health Secretary much more than I fear Trump. He is a Surgeon and has made it very clear that he is on the medical and pharmaceutical systems side of the controversy. These are what he says is his aspirations. #1. Make mal-practice suits illegal which will cut down on medical costs. #2. Instead of the Exchange system in the ACA he wants people to rely on a Health Savings Account. This is a savings account that can only be used for Health costs and it is tax deductible. -- My problem with this is you need to have the money to put into the account and it is useless for most of us. #3. And this is the biggest -- he says he wants to do away with Medicare.

    I have Diabetes, Parkinson's, Hypothyroid, Chronic Depression, and High Blood Pressue, Low B12 and Low Vit D. My medications would literally cost me a couple of thousands a month because of the ridiculous prices on things like Azilect, Victosa, and Bystolic. I have made up my mind if Medicare is taken away I will just kill myself and not have to worry about it any longer. I will not subject my family to that kind of expense just to add years to my life.

    But honestly I don't think it will happen. I have faith there are enough sane people in Congress to prevent this from happening.

  • You wrapped it up perfectly, Theresa. I'm going to read your last sentence over and over to prevent going bonkers.

  • I lost all hope for sane people making reasonable decisions when Trump was elected.

  • Sedona I feel the same way but I need to hope because I have been having bad days from emotional stress every day since the election. :-<

  • Actually I was very (impressed) with the plans of the "what shall we call it?" Trump care. I am concerned that there is no way to pay for it. I don.t work and my wife just retired. We are currently paying 1,600 $ per month and are now battling the same insurance provider but a different plan to pay for my Rytary. They are all " douuuu There is a generic for that drug so we are not paying for it. " My wife had back surgery last year and was prescribed both Oxycotton And Oxycodone. the Surgeon said that the cotton was for 24 hours ind if the pain got intense take the codone good for 4 hours. That way no cycling or off times and faster healing. He had to fight the bureaucrat at the insurance company. That the two meds where not the same. It might make sense to have someone in power that at least there is a difference in time released CD/LD and Rytary. Idiots!!!!!

  • I'm really interested what it is about Trumpcare that would make your situation better? I would love to have my fears eased. Are you on Medicare and have supplement or do you not qualify for Medicare yet? Also are you not able to use the exchange to lower your costs? I have to admit that with Medicare and my supplemental insurance right now I have it good, but I understand a lot people have had their insurance raised to ridiculous amounts and I totally agree it is not acceptable and needs to be changed. Please share with me what it is about Trumpcare that is a positive....I would love to feel better about things.

  • Substitute the word impressed for hopeful. You can not be impressed with something that dos not yet exist. It sounds that a majority of people on this site are the 20 million that now have healthcare thanks to Obama care. I represent the fat cats that make to much for any refunds but plan to spend over 20 thousand on health care next year as I sit here fighting for my insurance to pay for Rytary, I just had to by a week out of pocket.

  • Not quite lucid enough to go deeper but will explain hopefully soon.

  • Yeah I understand there are a larger amount of people that have been screwed because of the premium costs if they do not qualify for the Exchange system. And this is not fair by any standard. The Dems do agree with that. Perhaps we need to just wait and see what is proposed and passed by the new administration before we pass judgment on it.

  • "agreed" I am hopeful that some pragmatism might work, and it seems that Trump is quite experienced at straddling both sides of the fence.

  • We have to let our voices be heard. WE're going to have to fight for it. Trump is for Trump and no one else.

  • I tend to agree, but I don't think we need to get too deep into politics on this forum let's just talk about medical plans here. Alexandria12 I can message you a forum that I am on to talk about the political situation if you like.

  • Not political just a fact!

  • Don't go down a road where information on both sides abound. ( Trump doe's not have the monopoly of stupid things said. ) There is enough on both to scare the hell out of everyone out there, and that is why we are so polarized right now.

  • Motal, this is serious. I am american and followed this mockery of an election with a sense of humor assuming cooler heads would prevail. They didn't. Now we are left to deal with what this really means for those who need a variety of benefits - including healthcare. Your question is a great one and it would have been an even better one for Americans to get confirmation on before voting Trump in as our President elect - but that didn't happen either.

    The first problem with anything Trump has said is that he reverses his position with regularity, sometimes daily and sometimes more than daily. That said, I would not feel secure, regardless of what he said on 60 minutes or tweeted randomly. It can change. I hope it doesn't but lets look at his actions (vs what he says).

    The new HHS secretary, Tom Price, the person who will be over all of healthcare for the United States, has vowed repeatedly to repeal (completely) the affordable care act which guaranteed coverage for pre-existing conditions. Dr. Tom Price, a republican congressman from Georgia and policy extremist and the guy the drug companies love the most, would also like to privatize Medicare. The threats to the beneficiaries of these programs are clear given Price has left no question on his position.

    Finally, and this affects Americans and non-Americans, republican administrations have a track record of reduced or banned funding for medical research esp on stem cell research that is shown to have strong potential in treating Alzheimer's disease, Parkinson's and other disease states.

    Is there cause for concern? Yes but we are not even into the first 100 days yet. Right now I am watching and waiting

  • You nailed it, p-oui.

  • waiting is all we can do since a large number of uninformed people acted on emotion and what they didn't want. At least I'm giving them the benefit of a doubt.:-) Oh yeah' back to Parkinson's...lol

  • Well said p-oui. The worry I have of a Trump presidency has definitely affected my health also. Every time I turn on the news I feel fear and my PD symptoms get more noticeable. I'm trying to stay away from the news, but it's really hard in this day of age.

  • I am with you. Every Sunday morning I watch Meet the Press.

  • I went back and read my post and did I say impressed ! Man did I have a brain fart. Lets face it Trump is a business man and is a populist. The way I and I repeat I see it is first health care will cost everyone something and I have never seen anything given away free that is worth anything. Wow did I just say that again. Maybe I should not tackle this today. My brain is not flowing. My computer is sparking. Salvation is a free gift and worth everything. I perhaps have communicated to much in the last few days. Sorry Theresa I am not ignoring you but it is quit clear to me right now that my communication skills are way off. It is a very good question but not able to gather my thoughts.

  • Fight for Obama Care ! It is super, once you get it. For example pre-existing conditions is apart of the Obama Care. When I did research on this Health Care system I found a lot of advantages. It is indeed competitive and beats out other insurance co.s. However the process in obtaining this health insurance means a lot of paper work. Please help yourself and others stand up against TRUMP ! He wants to eliminate as much as he can of the plan. TRUMP has no conception of what it means to not have insurance: to be ill, to be poor and on and on. He is a New York BULLY ! Spoiled rotten to the core . So don't hesitate to give him a piece of your mind ! You can be as cagey and manipulative and a Master Salesman as he is. He LOVES a GOOD FIGHT anyhow. So GO TO IT ! Round up others that also need health care . FIGHT, FIGHT, FIGHT him. BE PERSISTENT ! He will respect you when you stand up for your rights. AND YOU WILL WIN ! BEST EVER !!! Pam

  • Hey -- I'm from New York (originally) -- please don't call him a New York Bully....call him a BULLY but leave New York out of it. Let's remember New York went for Hillary. New Yorkers know that he is a scam artist.

  • Sorry Theresa I am used to "Bully Kids " I have lived in Buffalo around the 1960's. For years,even when i was in Kindergarten I was more than bullied. I sincerely did not mean to insult you. You are right ! I guess because I was so upset with TRUMP, that when I lived in NYC and experienced some very psycho people, the first words that came out when I was picked on was indeed a fellow who was a real N.Y. Bully. However, I certainly do not want to be biased, so thank you.I will refrain next time . Best, Pam

  • for now you can apply for copay if you have private inurance:


    and medicare covered can get help at:


  • Here is a link that may be helpful as we all watch and wait: michaeljfox.org/foundation/...

    from the MJFF website, FoxFeed Blog

    What Does the Election Mean for the Parkinson's Community?

    In terms of what we can do, I believe we need to think carefully about that. We are a PD community and if we work together maybe we can make a difference. The MJFF has issued helpful framework letters to congressman and we can all write to our congressman using those already crafted letters. We can raise money for PD. We can donate money where we can. We can participate in clinical trials where we can. All these things help.

    On a personal level, I find it helpful not to imagine the future but remain (as much as I can) in the here and now of it all. My sincere feeling is that overcoming the anxiety and fear of little things in our daily lives can help just feel better and also can help enjoy the simplest rituals. Mainly though, if I feel a little down, I go to comedy. It works; Sending thanks and prayers for my friends on this board.

  • Hi all. Belated thanks for sharing your thoughts on this. It’s been a busy week and I wasn’t able to respond individually.

    My sense was that the ACA wasn’t perfect but it did try to address the issue of getting millions more people insured and not be one illness away from personal bankruptcy.

    Yes, this required subsidization and the ACA also tried to prod younger, healthier people to buy coverage before they got sick. There was resistance, but recall that this tried to replace a system of de facto subsidization - where hospitals, for instance, had to provide care to the uninsured and then absorb the loss and somehow pass it along to the rest of us.

    In sum, it’s all about the money - how the care is paid for.

    That is what to look for in the changes that the Congressman from North Atlanta has been proposing and with which he may hit the ground running as Secty of Health and Human Services. He advocates for fellow doctors. How will that translate in to the care we get as patients? Better care at the same price? For more? For less? Follow the money.

    Some here have suggested that we should wait and see what actually gets proposed. That's true, but vigilance also seems in order; especially to be on guard that one of PD’s non-motor symptoms - apathy - doesn’t creep in...

    Not much evidence of apathy in the posts above - and that’s healthy on several levels. To help future dialogue, how about, in addition to posting heartfelt opinions, we also share links to articles and reportage we think will shed light and help others keep up with what’s going on. (This thread's getting rather long in the tooth, so maybe start a new one for that purpose.)


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