Repealing the Affordable Care Act without an acceptable replacement, as President Trump now is calling for, would have wide-ranging effects, many of them not good. For starters it will eliminate the Medicaid expansion, which provides healthcare to those who are not able to afford healthcare insurance. Eliminating this expansion will immediately cut off access to affordable healthcare for millions. This will have negative effects on the disabled, less fortunate and the most vulnerable in our society.
Another effect would be to eliminate the subsidies on the ACA exchanges. The subsidies, available to those earning less than 400 percent of the Federal Poverty Level, provide access to affordable healthcare insurance for millions of self-employed, under-employed and those not yet eligible for Medicare. These are all hard-working taxpayers who do not have access to an employer-sponsored plan.
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Another less talked about effect would be the repeal of various protections the ACA provides. These protections ensure that healthcare policies meet certain basic coverage requirements. The protections ensure that policyholders are covered for the most basic of services in the event of an unforeseeable health event.
Before passage of the ACA, basic procedures commonly were not covered. You might have to go to an emergency room for care that was not covered by insurance, forcing you to pay hundreds or even thousands of dollars out of pocket. It was not uncommon to have coverage rescinded because of a diagnosis of a catastrophic illness such as cancer or diabetes — in fact, insurance companies had whole departments dedicated to that process.
Repeal of the ACA would be catastrophic for millions of Americans. It would not make access to healthcare more affordable and accessible. It would decrease access and increase costs both short-term and long-term. I recommend everyone contact their members of congress and urge them not to support a repeal of the ACA without an acceptable replacement.
Bill Becker, Roscoe
‘Priced out’ is the new norm for health insurance
I have been priced out of health insurance. This isn’t the first time and it probably won’t be the last. As a small business owner it’s not unusual to get the short end of the stick when it comes to health insurance.
It wasn’t long ago our small group policy became too expensive and we all had to fend for ourselves. The good part was we simply went out and bought individual health insurance, which was half the cost. We had choices in the market place.
Now there is no market place, thus no choices. The insurance companies have exited citing exorbitant costs. Well, that’s exactly what has happened to me. I have costs, too, but it seems our political leaders don’t recognize costs — only revenues — and that’s the rub.
When our politicians are able to appreciate the cost side of the equation, only then will we be able to create a viable plan. Until then, I’m priced out.
Mike Simon, Glen Ellyn
Preckwinkle’s soda tax doesn’t add up
Reading Laura Washington’s column siding with Toni Preckwinkle’s bill to tax sugared drinks, I realized she would be trying to defeat her own source of revenue. Stop and think about it: if people stopped buying the sweetened drinks, then Cook County wouldn’t be able to collect the extra money. Preckwinkle actually hopes people will continue to buy them. If you really believe she is concerned about your health, you must be high on sugar. Taxes continue to be added to cigarettes and liquor in unbelievable percentages, yet sales flourish. What’s next? Sweetened cereal, candy, bacon? In Minnesota and Wisconsin, food and clothing are not taxed and they seem to manage their respective budgets just fine.
Judith Reed, Mount Prospect