by Samuel Metz and Bob Fischer
Eugene Register Guard, Friday, August 07, 2014
Dr. Monica Wehby’s condemnation of the Affordable Care Act (Register-Guard, July 31) is warranted. The ACA was not designed to provide universal access or reduce costs. It is not predicted to do so, even if it works perfectly.
However, Wehby’s hypothetical replacement for the ACA is an unsupportable fantasy. She believes our American private health insurance is the solution, not the cause, of our health care crisis. Wehby’s program says we must “guarantee protection for Americans who remain continuously enrolled in insurance plans.” But given that current insurance plans leave most families at risk for medical bankruptcy, there is little rationale to protect those plans.
Wehby says we must “allow people to buy insurance across state lines to spur competition and give consumers more options.” Imagine the billing boondoggle that would create! Cover Oregon already has 11 insurance companies on its exchange. With most companies offering plans in the bronze, silver, gold and platinum metal levels and for three markets (large group, small group, and individual), that’s a lot to keep track off. No wonder the state’s computer program failed spectacularly. Multiply that confusion by 50 states and you’ll see that Wehby’s proposal adds expense rather than reducing it.