To the Editor:
I never favored the Affordable Care Act (ACA), commonly known as “Obamacare.” I still feel the law is too large, contains too many components with unknown costs and unintended consequences, and took a sledgehammer rather than scalpel approach.
Ideally, the law would be repealed followed by bipartisan discussions resulting in a series of limited bills to be considered individually. But even if the 2012 elections result in a Republican president and Senate majority, repeal is unlikely.
Despite my misgivings with ACA, I do acknowledge that it was an attempt to reach the noble goal of universal coverage while retaining the role of the private insurance industry. As a disclaimer, I do work in the health insurance industry but my views here are my own. ACA is not “socialized medicine” or single payer. There’s not even a “public option.” Liberals will attempt to expand ACA in those directions, but realistically there is no chance of that occurring.
So we’re stuck with what we have. The most controversial part of the law, the individual mandate, was an attempt to ensure the insurance pool includes healthy individuals to avoid the inevitable cost increase from only unhealthy people (with pre-existing conditions) enrolling and driving up claim costs. Constitutional or not, the individual mandate does not take effect until 2014. There is time to replace it with more market-based solutions. For example, subsidized high-risk pools, enrollment incentives, and automatic enrollment with tax-free opt-outs.
Let’s move to contain costs and lessen the level of governmental intrusion.