Regarding the Hubbard County DFL’s commentary, titled “Rural health care facing economic challenges,” I did not read any specific proposal that would fix the economic challenges.
What I can take from the letter is that in 2020 we need to elect Democrats to restore the Affordable Care Act (ie. Obamacare) to meet its “intended purposes.” What were those?
One intended purpose was continuity of care. President Obama stated that one would get to keep one’s doctor. We all are aware that didn’t happen.
Another intended purpose was to decrease insurance costs, which President Obama touted repeatedly. The opposite happened, and costs went up substantially, especially for the healthy. According to a 2017 study printed in Forbes, in the first four years of the ACA, premiums rose 60 percent on average across the board, though in the prior four years either decreased or increased 9.2 percent, depending on type of coverage.
These increases were due, in large part, to another intended purpose of the ACA, which was to eliminate the denial of health insurance coverage based on preexisting conditions. In 1976, 34 years before the ACA, with legislation lead by Republicans and joined by Democrats, the Minnesota Legislature addressed the denial of health insurance coverage based on pre-existing conditions with the Minnesota Comprehensive Health Association (MCHA). The MCHA provided an insurance option for those denied coverage in the private marketplace for a preexisting condition. The MCHA was praised as one of America’s most successful high-risk pools.
Unlike the ACA, the MCHA separated that high-risk pool of those with preexisting conditions from those without one, so healthier peoples’ insurance did not rise like levels they did with the ACA. The ACA pools everyone together, and therefore, is not true insurance based on merits and personal circumstances, like every other kind of insurance is underwritten.
Let’s say, for example, you have a clean driving record; should you be billed an auto insurance rate as if you had a DWI because someone else got a DWI?
By analogy, the Democrats and the ACA say yes, the MCHA said no. Minnesota got it right 43 years ago, but the terms of the ACA required Minnesota repeal the MCHA a few years ago. Yes, the federal government controlled by Democrats “fixed” something that was working in Minnesota and the effects on premiums resulted in the largest middle-class "tax" increase that I recall. Please vote knowing the facts.