Email letters, November 15,  2013

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Michael Higgins’ on line-letter – “Obamacare now known for lie after lie after lie” – employs a dishonest definition of “lie” (properly, “an untrue statement made with intent to deceive”).

Nothing in the Affordable Care Act (“ACA”) – as enacted on March 23, 2010 – required anyone who “liked their current health care plan” to change plans.  Rather, all policies then in-force were “grandfathered” – regardless of whether they complied with the ACA’s minimum coverage standards.  To suggest otherwise is to “lie”.

Likewise, nothing in the ACA required anyone to change doctors.  To suggest otherwise is to blatantly “lie”.

Similarly, according to the CBO and the Kaiser Family Foundation, the ACA “will lower premiums for the typical family . . . by $2500 per year”.  To deny that fact is to “lie”.

Unfortunately, the ACA failed to prohibit health insurers from “baiting and switching” previously “grandfathered” policies and/or from marketing non-compliant policies after March 2010 (which they knew would have to be upgraded or cancelled by January 1, 2014, but failed to so inform their trusting customers), and/or failed to require insurers to upgrade those policies into compliance rather than cancel them. 

The ACA also failed to require insurers issuing cancellation letters in 2013 to fully inform affected policyholders of their available options – leaving such details to state insurance regulators to oversee (and underestimating insurers’ “intent to deceive”). 

Higgins also deceptively distorts the concept underlying the ACA – which both expands and reforms the health insurance marketplace and entails no “big deception” as to “pre-existing conditions”.  Rather, the premiums (whether subsidized or not) paid by millions of new insureds will offset the actuarial “risk” of “pre-existing conditions” – if the “risk pool” includes sufficient numbers of healthier insureds.

Ultimately, Higgins’ “big deception” is “absolutely” admitting that “we need health reform”, without offering an honest alternative to “ObamaCare”.

Thus, Higgins is “now known for lie after lie after lie”.

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