The Free Press, Mankato, MN

November 2, 2013

ACA promises already broken


The Mankato Free Press

---- — In testimony before Congress Wednesday, Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius blamed the HealthCare.gov web site disaster on government contractors retained on a no bid contract. Those contractors blamed the Center for Medicare Services.

It is too soon to tell whether problems with the website are a forerunner to the eventual demise of the Affordable Care Act. But is not to soon to recognize that a number of ACA promises are not happening. Many individuals and small businesses are having health insurance policies they were satisfied with cancelled.

In testimony before Congress Tuesday, CMS Administrator Marilyn Tavenner blamed those cancellations on insurance companies. The insurance companies had no choice. Those policies did not provide services mandated by the ACA. There is evidence the administration and top Democrats knew those cancellations were likely well before hand, but did not tell us.

In order to offer/issue the coverage expansion mandates necessary to to comply with the ACA β€” many not wanted or needed by all policyholders β€” insurance company actuaries and risk managers find it necessary to increase premiums. This contradicts administration promises that premiums would be reduced.

Private insurance companies are subject to strict government oversight and regulations. Notwithstanding that, and operating under a very modest underwriting profit because of competition, private sector insurance companies remain solvent.

If the administration, HHS and CMS really tried but failed to successfully implement the ACA we should forget about trying to structure government run single payer universal health care for more than 300 million people i.e. socialized medicine putting the private insurance industry out of business. We can do better.

β€œOne of the traditional methods of imposing statism or socialism on a people is by way of medicine.” (Ronald Reagan)

Bob Jentges

North Mankato