Magazine article Drug Topics

Retail Pharmacy Returns to Primary Care

Magazine article Drug Topics

Retail Pharmacy Returns to Primary Care

Article excerpt

IN MY VIEW

Thanks to ACA, in order to accommodate about 3% of the population - about 9 million individuals with "new insurance" - nearly 99% of all taxpayers in the private sector will have effectively less coverage, higher deductibles, and increased co-pays. "Insurance coverage" for routine expenses will be greatly reduced or even disappear. The practical result will be that for much of their routine care, taxpayers in the private sector will become cash customers.

As the most accessible members of the primary care team, pharmacists will be among the first healthcare providers to whom patients will turn. Pharmacists have the training and experience to triage these patients and get them the care they need at the lowest cost possible. Filling these gaps in healthcare, pharmacists will provide invaluable services to many patients overwhelmed by the system.

Back to court

This spring the Supreme Court will again review the ACA. Because its writers gave little or no consideration to the volumes of state and federal regulations already on the books, much of the ACA and its associated regulations will conflict with existing laws and regulations that have been in place for decades. Legal challenges are likely to proliferate.

For this round, supporters of the ACA in King v. Burwell will argue that "deariy" it was the intent of the bill to provide subsidies for everyone, not just those who bought insurance through state exchanges. They will argue further that it is ridiculous to assume that the drafters wanted to "coerce" states into forming their own exchanges. Yet the Supreme Court has already had to strike down an ACA provision seeking to "coerce" the states to expand Medicaid or lose benefits.

Elephant in the living room

The ACA provisions under consideration by the Supreme Court directly relate to expansion of the federal budget's single largest problem, entitlements. Taxpayer contributions have funded Medicare and Sodal Security for decades. For much of that time politicians maintained that those funds were kept in a "lockbox."

At the same time that the federal government was collecting Medicare and Sodal Security taxes for the "lockbox," incumbent legislators were expanding salaries and benefits for themselves, assodated unionized bureaucrats, and redpients of food stamps, welfare, and Medicaid. …

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