The Free Press, Mankato, MN

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September 1, 2013

ACA criticism offered no viable solutions

In arguing for national single payer health care, Dr. Delmer Eggert fails to address this fundamental question: Given the fact that the Affordable Care Act is now law whereas a single payer system is not, is the ACA a huge improvement over what it replaces?

Since the ACA does not meet his single payer ideal, is he really willing to join the right-wing extremist crowd in portraying the ACA as a government boondoggle? His assessment of the ACA is entirely negative. He ignores the ways the ACA reins in private insurance companies by eliminating various practices, by establishing standardized coverages on the insurance exchanges, and by forcing them to direct more revenue to health care.

He ignores the cost control measures the ACA introduces. He ignores the increased revenue the ACA brings to provide health care. He ignores the insurance mandate requirement and the expansion of affordable coverage for tens of millions of Americans. He ignores improvements related to both health care providers and consumers. (I will provide details in a comment on the Free Press website.)

The ACA builds upon the U.S. tradition of employer provided health insurance and free market competition among private insurance companies. I think you have to view the ACA as a final test of that tradition.

There is a long term trend of employers reducing or eliminating health care benefits. They can use the ACA as a convenient excuse to continue that trend by never employing more than 49 workers or not letting employees to put in more than 29 hours per week.

In doing so though, they are hurting their own business when they need more employees and employees working more hours. Furthermore, they will be demonstrating that, regardless of any past merits, employer provided health insurance no longer works in the U.S.

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