The Transylvania Times -

Insurance Companies Seek More Profits


September 19, 2016

The Affordable Care Act is only a failure in the minds of those who spend too much time watching Fox “News” and listening to right-wing talk shows that are short on facts and big on inflammatory rhetoric.

To the 20 million Americans who now have health insurance and the safety net it provides, the ACA is a success. If there is any failure related to this landmark legislation, it is on the part of insurance companies greedy for excessive profits. They are not “bailing out” (to quote Charles Brendle in his letter of Sept. 12) because the ACA is costing them money; they are bailing out because they do not want to honor claims, preferring instead to feed profits to their executives and stockholders. In other words, they do not want to pay for the services their customers pay them to provide.

Republicans loathe the ACA because it helps the American people. They much prefer to support programs that benefit corporate America. Thus, Republicans would privatize Medicare, Social Security, Medicaid and dismantle the ACA in order to pump more profits into the fabulously wealthy insurance industry. However, dismantling the ACA would actually hurt insurance company profits.

Take, for example, United Health that took in some $157 billion in 2014. More than half of that money came from United States government programs of which the ACA is a small but profitable portion for them. By the way, United CEO Stephen Hemsley hauled in $66 million in 2014. Let’s say the average health insurance policy costs $600 a month. At that rate Hemsley’s income for a single year would have purchased insurance for some 110,000 individuals.

Privatizing government programs puts the welfare and well-being of the American people into the hands of those who are interested only in profits, not in providing affordable, accessible health care options. The cost of insurance would soar while people in need of insurance would find themselves burdened with prohibitive restrictions – waiting periods, extra premiums for pre-existing conditions that would make insurance unaffordable.

Is this what we want for the American people?

Pamela Blevins



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