The News Desk is a collection of news, notes and breaking items affecting the Fredericksburg community.
Supporter of patient advocacy supports increase of Medicaid
Gae Pinschmidt spends a lot of her time encouraging people to be their own best advocate while receiving medical treatment as a coordinator of the Life Preservers program at the Unitarian Universalist Fellowship of Fredericksburg. Life Preservers helps advise people about end-of-life issues like patient rights.
She said even though the Affordable Care Act being held was “certainly a desirable outcome,” the issue of patient advocacy wouldn’t go away. Pinschmidt blamed what she called the “hospitalist system” — a departure from the traditional family doctor who knew a patient from birth to death — as being a reason it’s hard for older people to focus on the best care for them.
“Hospitalists treat patients as a series of numbers on a chart,” she said.
Nonetheless, Pinschmidt, who said both she and her husband have use Medicaid and had good experiences, is glad more people are going to gain access to reliable care and insurance.
“I’m happy to see the United States is capable to giving its citizens as much basic healthcare as all of the other major countries,” she said.
She said she hoped Virginia would choose to join the group of states that could choose to expand Medicaid.
And to those who might object to the clause stating the individual mandate will be treated as a tax — that is, people who don’t purchase individual plans will have to pay a tax — she asked, “Why don’t you gripe about your car taxes?”
“If people can fight through the insurance maze for their car, and they have no problem registering it and paying taxes on it, why should it be different for health insurance?” Pinschmidt wondered.
Pinschmidt said she thought the act would have a lot of changes made to it now that it’s passed through the Supreme Court. She said she expects a lot of regular folks to be confused by it, and she encouraged people who understand the act to try to help educate others.
“There ought to be discussions for people who don’t understand it,” she said. “We [Life Preservers] will certainly discuss it.”
“It’s going to be a big brouhaha for a long time,” she said.