I can sympathize with Susan Pirtle’s letter to the editor of June 18. I, too, had to visit the ER last fall and understand fully how stressful that is. My visit also lasted about seven hours as I was shuffled from waiting room to exam rooms. And waiting for my vitals check and then waiting to be shuffled into another room only to wait to see an ER doctor seemed to drag on and on. I felt the same exhaustion when I got home.
But, Ms. Pirtle is wrong to blame her experience on Obamacare. The emergency room was once the only option for the poor and uninsured before the Affordable Care Act passed. The ACA did not change the way Providence St. Peter Hospital conducts operations in the ER. They still must see those with the most urgent injuries and illnesses first.
Ms. Pirtle says she’s been happy with her private health insurance, and that’s wonderful. My husband and I lost our insurance when we retired and we are too young for Medicare. Thankfully, once the ACA passed, Washington state had set up one of the best health insurance marketplace websites in the nation. My husband and I were able to find insurance that fit our retiree budget.
If not for Obamacare we would still be paying a hospital bill that ran into thousands of dollars.