Printed letters, November 10, 2013

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“Only a fool would” take David Shrum’s letter – “Obamacare forms invade what little privacy we have left” – seriously.

The Affordable Care Act’s (“ACA”) forms are actually less intrusive than typical health insurance applications – which include detailed questions about medical history that the ACA application does not ask.

Before ObamaCare, applicants for health insurance had to “expose [themselves] to the rest of the world” in order to even qualify for coverage.  Even when initially approved, any insured who filed a claim could be summarily denied and/or cancelled by the insurer – which first gathered the claimant’s medical records and employed a staff of doctors to scour those records for any “pre-existing condition” that would entitle them to deny the claim.  ObamaCare made that odious practice illegal.

Shrum apparently does not comprehend that all the information currently maintained by the government is dated (from the past), but that the ACA’s application process requires current and prospective information from the applicant in order to present available insurance options and calculate potential premium credits.

As originally designed, the ACA trusted the information provided by applicants, but then verified it later by comparing tax returns claiming credits against other records.  Section 1001 of H.R. 2775 – the bill that ended the government shutdown and avoided default – now requires that eligibility for credits and cost-sharing premium reductions be verified “up front”, thereby further complicating the process (because apparently Republicans do not trust Americans applying for health insurance).

Thus, while computer security is a serious concern, there is far less information collected under the ACA than by health insurers previously—whose computer systems may be just as susceptible to hacking as the federal government’s.

Thus, “only a fool” would deny him/herself and/or his/her family needed health insurance coverage because of speculative privacy concerns based on laughably false propaganda.

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