Re­turn­ing au­ton­omy to states can fix what ails the ACA

Modern Healthcare - - COMMENT -

Re­gard­ing the re­cent ar­ti­cle “Cruz in­sur­ance pro­posal un­der­scores trou­ble with pro­tect­ing pre-ex­ist­ing con­di­tions” (Mod­ern­Health­, June 30), Cruz is at­tempt­ing to give au­ton­omy back to the states. As a li­censed in­sur­ance agent who has helped peo­ple for 14 years in nearly half the states, I salute him for striv­ing to ful­fill the prom­ise made to re­peal the Af­ford­able Care Act and re­store the mar­ket­place that peo­ple once en­joyed.

States had full au­ton­omy over their pri­vate mar­kets be­fore the ACA dec­i­mated it. If the ACA is re­pealed, it merely re­moves the layer of fed­eral reg­u­la­tion that caused rates to sky­rocket and car­ri­ers to leave the mar­ket. The state reg­u­la­tions re­main.

The ma­jor­ity of states could re­pair their mar­kets by invit­ing the car­ri­ers back. They would be free to of­fer lots of plan de­signs with low-priced op­tions that folks could af­ford. In those states, any­one who de­layed purchasing a plan in the pri­vate mar­ket un­til they de­vel­oped an ex­pen­sive con­di­tion would likely pay more for a plan, but the premium would be capped. No man­dates, fines nor open en­roll­ment pe­riod would be nec­es­sary.

In a few states whose laws mir­ror the ACA, they will con­tinue to have high pre­mi­ums, but they could adopt state reg­u­la­tions that of­fer more af­ford­able choices.

Amer­i­cans don’t want the fed­eral gov­ern­ment dic­tat­ing the type of plan they must have that dou­bles and even triples their pre­mi­ums for fea­tures they don’t want while elim­i­nat­ing their healthy dis­count in the name of “pro­tec­tion.” The ACA is a fail­ure and state au­ton­omy can fix it. Bev­erly Gos­sage Pres­i­dent HSA Ben­e­fits Con­sult­ing Eu­dora, Kan.

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