Email letters, November 21, 2013

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Dave Kearsley’s latest offering – “Trying to put Humpty Dumpty back together again is futile fix for ACA” – takes credit when none is due.

Nothing in the Affordable Care Act (“ACA”) required insurers to cancel any policies in existence on March 23, 2010.  The appearance of “deception” arose because some health insurers “baited and switched” insureds from “grandfathered” into “non-grandfathered” policies (rather than modifying them to retain “grandfathered” status or upgrading them to comply with the ACA)—and continued issuing new non-compliant policies (with no caveats) knowing they would be cancelled as of January 1, 2014.

President Obama has apologized for the ACA’s failure to anticipate and prohibit such deceptive business practices and/or to “mandate” complete disclosure by those insurers.

Nothing in the ACA required anyone to change doctors, but neither prohibited doctors from dying, retiring, or limiting their practices, nor required insurers to maintain existing “preferred provider” networks.

The American Hospital Association supports the ACA – because it offers more prompt and adequate compensation for rendering indigent care.  However, in 25 Republican-controlled states which reject Medicaid expansion, hospitals may be forced to close emergency rooms.

In sum, 80% of Americans’ premiums were largely “unaffected” by the ACA, some 15% gained access to affordable health care for the first time, and only 1.3% may pay more for equal or better coverage. 

Moreover, the ACA has (as President Obama “promised”) reduced long-term costs (and thus “debt”) projections by some 10%—reducing health care spending growth and health care price inflation to the lowest rates since 1965.

Parroting Republicans’ bogus “alternatives” to the ACA, Kearsley would revert to the “pre-existing condition” of double-digit annual premium increases, arbitrary denial and/or cancellation of coverage by for-profit “death panels”, and leave 40+ million Americans without affordable access to health care.

Good luck with that, Humpty!

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