Printed letters, October 28, 2013

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Dave Kearsley’s letter (“Obamacare will increase cost 
of premiums and deductibles”) relies on partially accurate “apples to oranges” comparisons.

First, for “liberals” who do care “about the overall results or the cost” of the Affordable Care Act (“ACA”), recent studies by the Center for American Progress and the Kaiser Family Foundation found that —“overall”—the market-driven competitive forces harnessed by “ObamaCare’s” health insurance exchanges are lowering overall premium levels by 16% beneath those originally projected by the CBO.

Second, even though “liberals” (in contrast to the “conservatives” who enacted Medicare Part D) insured that the ACA was fully paid for by new taxes, these lower premiums reduce the CBO’s projection of overall subsidy costs by $190 billion over ten years.

Third, while requiring provisions covering maternity care, the AFA also prohibits gender discrimination, annual and/or lifetime caps, coverage-evading “death panels”, and denials for “pre-existing conditions”.  As a result of these tradeoffs, some premiums increased (particularly for substandard policies), while other decreased.  Thus, Kearsley’s focus on anecdotal particulars obscures the very “overall results” he accuses “liberals” of ignoring.

Fourth, because of Repugnicans’ on-going misinformation campaign and the inexcusable problems with the web-site roll-out, many would-be health insurance purchasers don’t even know yet what their new premiums would be after accounting for subsidies.  Thus, as Gary Harmon reports (“For senator, a sampler platter of jobs”), one local told Senator Bennet that his premiums would double, but hadn’t yet consulted “ColoradoConnect”.

Fifth, Kearsley is correct that the penalty (for a single person) in 2014 for not having coverage will be the greater of $95 or 1% of taxable income, increasing to $325/2% in 2015, and $695/2.5% thereafter—incentivizing those who can afford health insurance to decide whether to pay the tax penalty “for nothing”, or apply it toward buying coverage.

Ms. Phillips says she refuses to pay my emergency room bill if I don’t sign up for Abomination-care. Well, you don’t have to worry as I have employer furnished insurance…for now…with a measley $2500 deductible…lol. If they drop it, and I have to buy it, my household income may qualify me for her taxes to pay for my care anyway.

I almost believe we’d be better off with Canadian-Style socialized medicine rather than this Obamacare monstrosity.

There’s no provision in Obamacare capping the rate increases and deductible increases the insurance companies are going to implement. An estimated 50-75% of current policy holders who want to keep their current plans are starting to receive their cancellation notices with offers of new plans at 5 to 10 times the cost.

We’re just going to end up with a bigger medically uninsured problem than we had before this all started.

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