Healthcare column not so clear

Published 9:40 pm Tuesday, August 6, 2013

To the editor:

I read with interest your column on the healthcare law in Thursday’s newspaper, which made the following points:

(1) People with pre-existing conditions may “jump at the chance to be insured,” because insurance companies no longer can deny them coverage for that reason. This sounds OK to me.

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(2) People with low incomes also “may jump at the chance” because they will receive higher rates of subsidy. That sounds OK to me too.

(3) So will people “with a major health condition or who have been neglecting their health because of a lack of health insurance.” Again, that sounds OK.

(4) For these folks, “health care reform may work exactly as it was intended by removing the barriers to enrolling in health insurance.” Uh, I am sensing a pattern here, because that sounds OK too.

(5) The author correctly notes that the rates for North Carolina’s insurance exchange are not available yet, although I would add there have been pleasant surprises in other states as the market has emerged. So that might be OK.

(6) For the example family described by the author, perhaps their rates “will remain fairly stable,” or “because of the subsidy, their overall cost will go down.” Unless it doesn’t. But if it does, that would be OK.

(7) True enough, people who do not pay for coverage now will have to have it, or pay a tax penalty (which starts at $90, by the way), instead of expecting the rest of society to pay for it when they do need something from the healthcare system. I gotta be honest with you, that does not sound so bad to me either.
From all this, we can work back to the beginning of the column, which states, “it is becoming increasingly clear the law may ill serve the working class more than any other population.”

Well, if by “ill served” we mean being able to get insurance for a pre-existing condition, qualifying for reduced rates, or getting coverage for major health issues that they did not have before, then I agree, we should throw out this no-good socialist law.

– Howard Troxler, Saluda