POINT OF VIEW: Obamacare critique light on facts, details

    Nov 27, 2017

Regarding the Oct. 26 letter titled, “Post-surgery, my premium doubled,” the writer’s story has some holes in it that I believe need correcting.

First, the letter-writer states, “I was carrying my own insurance until President Barack Obama’s Affordable Care Act (ACA).” That implies that the ACA made her cancel her private insurance. For the record, there is nothing in the ACA that requires Floridians to purchase their health insurance from the Marketplace at HealthCare.gov. Yes, the ACA does require that adults have health insurance that provides a minimum level of benefits. But we are free to purchase either privately as individuals or as a group on the Marketplace (and get the benefit of group-based rates).

Second, the writer’s statement that: “When I got home seven days later, I got a notice in the mail from the insurance company. My premium had doubled.” Without some “life change” that is impossible. On HealthCare.gov, the premium amount that your contract/policy states when you sign up does not change throughout the year due to any products/services/etc. that the insured receives via that policy. In all fairness, the ACA does allow for premium increases/decreases outside the open enrollment period in special circumstances. This might have increased her premium during the term of her policy. According to HealthCare.gov, premium increases could occur for reasons like adding persons to your policy, getting married, having or adopting children, losing eligibility for Medicare, Medicaid or CHIP, losing job-based coverage, changes in residence and other specific situations. Unfortunately, the writer did not provide any of this important information that may have substantiated her “My premium had doubled… ” statement.

Finally, the writer says: “Socialized medicine does not work and it has been proven to fail time and time again. We need competitive insurance.” Do an internet search for “countries that provide universal health care” and it’s embarrassing that the United States is grouped in with the world’s poorest countries. That’s an unusual way of endorsing “competitive” health care in my opinion. As we have just celebrated Veterans Day this month, consider that the Veterans Administration’s health care service is about as close to socialized medicine as it can get. Does that mean the VA is a failure? Obviously no. Just ask any veteran if they want to deep-six their VA benefits and join the ranks of the privately and commercially competitive insured, and see what they say.