Regarding the editorial on “Obamacare:” The issue on Obamacare problems (private insurance companies leaving the exchanges) is actually quite simple.
The Affordable Care Act sets minimum standards for health insurance. Health insurance which does not meet those standards cannot be offered, regardless of the demand for it. Consequently, health insurance offered on the exchanges may have features and benefits which do not appeal to those seeking low-cost, “catastrophic” coverage.
That is why many people with health insurance saw their plans canceled with the advent of the ACA. For the ACA to work, healthy people need to sign up for health insurance to subsidize unhealthy people. This was the strategy behind the “individual mandate” – have health insurance or pay a fine.
Unfortunately, healthy individuals can do the math – they would rather pay the fine, leaving the exchanges with mostly unhealthy participants. Hence the need to raise premiums – which will make even more people leave the exchanges.
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The answer is not more expensive bureaucracy. The answer is to simplify – keep the individual mandate in place, restore freedom to design plans to the private sector, and keep mandated features to a minimum.
Larry King, Fresno