Letter to the Editor
June 6, 2012
To the editor:
For the past few years, politicians have attempted to eliminate access to affordable health care for hard-working men and women in the United States. Since the passing of President Obama’s Affordable Care Act in 2010, conservative leaders in Alaska and across the nation have been trying to stop the progress of health care reform and eliminate the bill all together.
This is disappointing, as so many families benefit from the services provided through ACA. Just last year, more than 54 million people with private insurance and more than 33 million Medicare patients received free preventive care services thanks to new health care reform laws. Here in Alaska, more than 120,000 people with private insurance and nearly 39,000 Medicare patients received free preventive care thanks to ACA.
Some of the most important provisions in the Affordable Care Act are those that prevent cancellation of health insurance policies. All insurance contracts, health care included, are contracts in which the purchaser, the insured, has no bargaining power. Large groups may be able to bargain for the terms and provisions they want, but more and more, large groups are vanishing and it’s up to each individual to try to get a policy that will work and that he or she can afford.
We need to remember that insurance companies ration health care on the costs of care, not on the basis of medical need. One provision you won’t find in health insurance policies if the Affordable Care Act is struck down or repealed is a prohibition against cancellation. What would you do if, in the midst of an expensive cancer treatment, your health insurance policy were canceled?