Dysfunction in Obamacare: Dr. Kevin Campbell explains what's next on Salon Talks

Several new developments highlighted the problems in the Affordable Care Act

Published August 26, 2016 5:06PM (EDT)

Health insurance giant Aetna made waves earlier this month when it announced its plan to pull out of 11 of the 15 states where it participates in the Obamacare exchanges.

Salon's Carrie Sheffield sat down with cardiologist Dr Kevin Campbell on Thursday to explore what this actually means for the future of the much-maligned Affordable Care Act.

"Consumers are going to have less choice, more cost, more difficult access, in some cases in some states, there's no choice in the exchanges," Campbell said. "We're seeing what many of us predicted: the implosion of the Affordable Care Act because it was just not sustainable."

Basically, he sees one of two or three things happening: a Congressional bailout of insurance companies, fixing some of the holes in the ACA through legislation, or finally take the plunge and move towards single payer.

According to Campbell, insurers like Aetna are dropping out because Obamacare hasn't done enough to lower health care costs, making insuring everyone too expensive. "What it doesn't address  is tort reform--limiting malpractice claims against physicians which really drives up cost," Campbell said. "It does nothing to limit the cost of pharmaceuticals as we've seen evident in this weeks press on the expensive EpiPens and other price-gouging by pharmaceuticals."

These high costs get passed onto the consumer, which means people but only the insurance they can afford, not what they need.

"On paper we look great, it's great for the White House to put out these statistics," Campbell said. "In reality, I still have tons of un- and under-insured patients coming into my office."

Watch an excerpt of their discussion above.

By Justine Morris

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