To the editor:
Mr. Greg Orear’s article in The Journal July 30, 2017 alleged that the Affordable Care Act was a failure because it did not control the cost of health care.
When the Obama administration and the Congress started plans for health insurance reform they negotiated in advance to get as many opponents of previous reform efforts on board. The pharmaceutical industry wanted guarantees that drug prices would not be limited by government negotiations. The for profit insurance companies did not want any discussion of Medicare for all or a public option insurance. About 80 percent of the increased insurance provided to people resulted from the expansion of Medical Assistance. The subsidies to people not eligible for the Medical Assistance expansion were limited by the amount of money available to make their insurance premiums less costly.
The Republican controlled Congress worked to block promised payments to the insurance companies who entered the individual insurance market, forcing many to raise premiums or abandon the market entirely.
The goal of the ACA was to expand health insurance to as many of the 40 million or more people who were unable to afford it in 2008.
The Republicans in Congress and President Trump did not want help from Democrats to improve the ACA. They only wanted to take insurance from millions of people to satisfy their financial backers. Republicans do not want to address health care costs because they would run up against the same forces the Obama administration did.
Eventually the United States will have to move to a system that has worked to control costs and provide coverage to all people in Europe, Great Britain, Canada, Japan, etc.
Dr. John Kluge