LETTER TO THE EDITOR: Affordable Care Act is right for consumers, insurance companies

Saturday, July 13, 2013 | 6:00 a.m. CDT

There seems to be a lot of negative press about the Affordable Care Act. While it may not be a perfect solution, it is a step in the right direction to ensure that Americans will be able to obtain medical insurance.

The marketplaces are going to be open in just a few short months (Oct. 1). In Boone County alone, there are more than 8,000 people who will qualify for exchange subsides, making health insurance more affordable for individuals and families in our communities, resulting in healthier communities (U.S. Census Bureau’s Small Area Health Insurance Estimates, 2010).

There is an active smear campaign by the insurance companies to blame the ACA for any changes in premiums. The insurance companies would like Americans to forget that under an unregulated market, premiums increased 131 percent from 2000-2011.

Let’s not forget this fact. Who benefited from this increase? I think it is safe to say top executives of insurance companies. Consumer protections under the ACA were needed.

Under the Affordable Care Act, insurance companies must now spend at least 80 percent of their policyholders’ premiums on health care, something they should have been doing all along.

Under the 80/20 rule, insurance companies cannot keep more than 20 percent of premiums (or more than 15 percent in the large group market) for overhead and profits.

These companies want to maintain their power and wealth, be wary of news stories and claims of the failure of the ACA in the next several months, and question the source.

Ben Edes lives in Columbia.

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Ed Lane July 13, 2013 | 11:15 a.m.

BUT lets look at the many that have been exempted from this waste of the tax payer's money. Delays in implementing parts of this tax law. The amount of money this tax law is going to cost in the end, nearly twice what obummer predicted. Wait until the FULL AFFECTS of this new tax law become law, then we will see what everyone thinks of this tax law that was shoved down our throats by the lefty libs, some of whom have exempted themselves from this so-called great law!!!!!!!

(Report Comment)
Mark Foecking July 14, 2013 | 5:52 a.m.

The writer makes the assumption that high insurance premiums reflect high profit margins and excessive CEO pay. This is incorrect. Average profit among health insurers is 6.2%. CEO pay is an infinitesimal part of the operating expensss of a miltibillion dollar company.

Insurance premiums are high because the cost of health care is high. It remains to be seen if having more people insured will moderate the cost of health care - my feeling is we won't be able to tell five years from now. And premiums will go up no matter what.


(Report Comment)
Ellis Smith July 14, 2013 | 7:35 a.m.

It must be frightening, living in a situation where because one does not understand - or apparently attempt to understand - reasonable business practices (in health care, financial transactions, manufacturing, retailing, product safety, etc.) that a person comes to believe society has the explicit intent of creating endless harm.

But a beneficent government can be counted upon to "save" society from itself. Lots of luck with that!

(Report Comment)
Corey Parks July 14, 2013 | 9:19 a.m.

In hindsite one should have probably incorporated and donated money to the Obama Campaign thus allowing them to be be granted a waiver from participating. Maybe next time I guess.

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frank christian July 14, 2013 | 2:52 p.m.

Note Republicans have written BO about also extending the individual mandate, along with business. Cannot get an answer. It is up to the individual to apply for subsidy if necessarily needed. There are no governmental checks in place for honesty of the applicant. Obama will get the money out and provide Democrat voters for years to come, whether his namesake program proves feasible or not. Which children (such as this writer) cannot see the destruction that increases with every day Obama and his Democrats remain in control of our nation?

(Report Comment)
frank christian July 15, 2013 | 9:12 a.m.

The "heads" of three important unions have written Pelosi and Reid avidly stating their displeasure with the advent of Obamacare. They want among other things, the extension of the mandate for their members. One "other thing" was that the Act "is undermining the concept of the 40 hour work week, which is the backbone of the American economy!" I thought they already knew this.

(Report Comment)

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