Why in­sure cars but not peo­ple’s health care?

Northwest Arkansas Democrat-Gazette - - EDITORIAL PAGE -

The Af­ford­able Care Act re­minds me of a car I had, a 1965 Ford Fal­con. A good car, but it had prob­lems. It was bright red, V8 en­gine, three-speed man­ual shift and had a ra­dio. Max top speed was 93 mph.

One day I was driv­ing on a county road and picked up a nail in a tire. I had to make a de­ci­sion, much as the leg­isla­tive branch of our govern­ment must do soon con­cern­ing health care. I call it the “R& R” de­ci­sion. Op­tion 1: Dis­card my ve­hi­cle and be left with no trans­porta­tion; not good. Op­tion 2: Re­place the ve­hi­cle; pretty ex­pen­sive. Op­tion 3: Re­pair the tire, which I chose to do. It cost about $1.50 and the car gave me an­other 20,000 miles with a few pre­ven­tive main­te­nance items over the next two years.

If our Leg­is­la­tors put their minds to work to­gether, they could do a lit­tle “R& R” on the ACA. Every­one ad­mits the ACA has prob­lems, but does that mean that it can­not be fixed?

It seems strange our laws re­quire us to pur­chase li­a­bil­ity in­sur­ance on a car and do not re­quire us to in­sure our health. I have paid for au­to­mo­bile in­sur­ance for 57 years and I do not rec­ol­lect ever fil­ing a claim. Why not re­quire ev­ery per­son to have health care in­sur­ance?

Why does an in­sur­ance provider get to de­cide which state or county they in­sure? If a com­pany does busi­ness in Arkansas they should be re­quired to pro­vide the same level of cov­er­age at the same cost to ev­ery res­i­dent of Arkansas. Why not na­tion­wide? If I buy au­to­mo­bile in­sur­ance and move to an­other state I sup­pose my cov­er­age fol­lows me. Why can’t I buy in­sur­ance from a com­pany in Cal­i­for­nia and live in Arkansas? Beats me?

Ev­ery per­son from birth to death should be re­quired to ob­tain a pol­icy that cov­ers ba­sic health care is­sues such as preg­nancy, heart at­tacks, bro­ken bones, etc. I be­lieve the vast ma­jor­ity of Amer­i­cans, male and fe­male, dur­ing their life­time will en­gage in an ac­tiv­ity that could re­sult in a preg­nancy. Ev­ery in­surer should be re­quired to pro­vide a ba­sic pol­icy to cover cer­tain health care is­sues. Au­to­mo­bile in­sur­ance providers do this, why not health care in­sur­ers? This ba­sic pol­icy should be based upon na­tional statis­tics with the cost be­ing the same re­gard­less where a per­son re­sides. They could pro­vide ad­di­tional cov­er­age also if a cus­tomer is will­ing to pay the pre­mium.

I be­lieve our elected rep­re­sen­ta­tives are ob­li­gated to tackle and solve this is­sue. Thank­fully the au­to­mo­bile in­dus­try did not quit im­prov­ing au­to­mo­biles af­ter 1965. If they had I would not be en­joy­ing air con­di­tion­ing, power steer­ing, heated seats, re­mote mir­rors and a host of other con­ve­niences.

The ACA should and can be­come a liv­ing piece of leg­is­la­tion when it is fre­quently re­viewed and re­vised to meets the needs of the Amer­i­can pub­lic. WIL­LIAM A. CARVER Low­ell

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