Weatherford Democrat

September 25, 2013

LETTER TO THE EDITOR: What are Republicans afraid of?

Weatherford Democrat

— Dear Editor,

What is in the Affordable Healthcare Act that frightens so many Republicans to the point they are willing to destroy their party to keep it from being implemented on Jan. 1?

Surely, it isn’t the 25 million to 30 million Americans who will get decent health insurance at an affordable rate. It can’t be the $80 billion to $100 billion dollar reduction in the national deficit over the next 10 years, as projected by the Congressional Budget Office. I’ve not heard of any small employers, with less than 50 employees, complaining that the AFA will relieve them of the responsibility for employee health insurance. I have not heard any of those small company employees complaining that they will be able to buy their health insurance from a number of insurance companies at lower cost through state or federal insurance exchanges. Nor have I heard they are unhappy that their health insurance will no longer be tied to their job, as it is now. Perhaps they like the idea of being able to change jobs or even start their own company without fear of losing their family’s health insurance.

I also do not expect many people to complain that all their pre-existing medical problems will be covered by every policy issued after Jan. 1, and I do not hear many people unhappy that no insurance company can decline to issue a policy. And I don’t see many woman unhappy that all policies must cover OB/GYN preventive care, pregnancy and delivery after Jan. 1.

The only reason I can fathom as to why so many so-called conservatives hate the new law is that it will give health insurance choice to millions of Americans. They must fear that not just the uninsured will choose the new health exchanges for their insurance, but many tens of millions of presently insured individuals and families will switch to the reduced-cost exchange policies. This could eventually lead to every American owning their own non-cancelable health insurance policy, partially funded by federal dollars, but still administered by a private insurance company.

This system of insurance is used by Germany and other western industries nations, resulting in lower cost, less paperwork and better health care.

If it isn’t health care choice people like our governor fear, then why is he trying to stop Texans from even being informed as to what their choices are, by passing ridiculous state training and licensing requirements for the federally trained exchange navigators? These navigators are provided in the AFA to help people understand the new exchanges, pick a policy and apply for it on paper or online. People like Perry do not want the people of Texas to be informed and offered choices politicians and insurance companies cannot control.

Isn’t it about time Texans told our state government to get out of our health insurance. Texas politicians have a horrible record of high cost and low benefit insurance in Texas. They have nothing to contribute to this very important part of our lives. They could have formed a state controlled exchange, but refused to do so. Why would we want them meddling in the federal exchange, which will start enrollment on Oct. 1?

Dennis Tilly, Weatherford