Many questions remain about Affordable Care Act


by JIM BERGAMO / KVUE News and photojournalist DATHAN HULL

Bio | Email | Follow: @JimB_KVUE

Posted on September 9, 2013 at 5:36 PM

AUSTIN -- October 1 is when some of the deadlines of the Affordable Care Act come into play.  While employers aren't mandated to provide coverage until 2015, doctors offices and their patients already have questions as next month's deadlines approach.

At the 411 Pediatrics Office in Westlake, 15-month-old Cullen is typically inquisitive. His mother, Jenna Holmes, has some questions too, specifically about the rising cost of health insurance and the effect the Affordable Care Act may play in those rising costs.

"I've already seen that because even though I do get my health insurance provided, the part I'm supposed to contribute has increased every year," said Holmes. "Our premiums have gone up every year."

"Health care reform has always been an issue," said Ari Brown, M.D., a pediatrician and spokesperson for the American Academy of Pediatrics. "Whenever there's change, there are going to be growing pains."

Brown says as the first of many deadlines approaches in October the biggest growing pains at the moment are in the form of questions. She says both doctors and patients are trying to determine whether to stick with the coverage from their employers or shop around on the federal exchange.

"There are a lot of questions and maybe not a lot of concrete answers available," said Brown. "I hope that we'll see more clear-cut answers once this rolls out October 1."  

Brown says she understands why her patients fear the rise in health care costs even when the Affordable Care Act is fully in play.

"The bottom line is, no matter what you end up choosing, no matter whether you go through your insurance plan with your employer or whether you go through the market place, it's going to be expensive," said Brown.

It's why Holmes says even though she's in favor of some sort of health care reform, she's taking a "wait and see" approach to see what plan is best for her family.

"At this point I think it's too early to tell," said Holmes. "For me that's another reason why I'm staying with my current plan. I'm kind of curious to see how it all plays out."

As for Cullen, while it may be an issue for him in the future, on Friday he opted to be a bit close minded. As he closed the door on KVUE's interview his mother said, "Goodbye. He says the interview is over."