Re “Would Tom Rice really take away health insurance from thousands of his voters” letter by Tom Hutson.
Rep. Rice and his party are not trying to take health insurance away from 29,000 Seventh District voters. They are attempting to fix a system that is imploding and will fall apart on its own if nothing is done.
Assuming your $6900 pre-ACA premium is correct, keep in mind that everyone paid that price unless they waited until they had a serious health issue and had to go to the state high risk pool or were on Medicaid.
In today’s world, a family of two adults pays $4548 for the second-lowest price, the silver plan, leaving taxpayers the bill for the balance of $5548. If that same couple is fortunate enough to improve their economic standing and make $65,000 per year combined, they will pay $10,076, more than half of their pay increase. These are the people who are dropping coverage because it has become unaffordable.
The price of health insurance is determined, in a large part, by the cost of health care. The current system is driving the cost of health care up, not down. Providers are leaving the system in favor of concierge practices. Others refuse to accept ACA health plans because of low reimbursements. South Carolina and 16 other states now have only one health insurance carrier in the marketplace. Nearly every major health insurance carrier has left the marketplace because of massive losses. Competition no longer exists. Premiums will continue to rise, forcing more people to drop coverage, if nothing is done.
The federal government should not be in the business of regulating insurance per, U.S. Supreme Court case Paul v. Virginia (1869) and U.S. v Southeast Underwriters (1945), which led to the McCarren-Ferguson Act.
Alabama, New York, California and Nebraska are all dramatically different. Federal regulation cannot possibly properly address the diversity in need and cost in all parts of the country.
Finally, as a compassionate people, we should assist those who cannot pay for health care. Please note that health care and health insurance are not the same. In recent history, we have done that through Medicaid, hospital charity care reimbursement ($39 Billion in 2009) and free or low cost clinics.
The ACA has not worked. It is imploding. It will not survive. Let’s see want the new administration offers before passing judgment. Hopefully it will be a free market plan, creating competition, coupled with measures to reduce the cost of care and will be regulated by the states, as intended.
The writer lives in Myrtle Beach.