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What ACA isn’t

Published: Friday, Oct. 4, 2013 5:30 a.m. CST

To the Editor:

Let’s acknowledge that the Affordable Care Act (aka Obamacare) is far from perfect.

However, it was passed into law in 2010, and nearly all of it has gone into effect. The major implementation now of the exchanges is having some technical glitches, but the same thing happened when George W. Bush’s Medicare drug coverage started.

Some definitions:

• Socialized medicine is when the government owns the hospitals and directly hires the doctors, as in England.

• Single-payer is when the hospitals and doctors remain independent but the insurance funding is operated by the government, as in Canada.

ACA is neither socialized medicine nor single-payer. There is not even the government-controlled “public option” that liberals had wanted. ACA is a flawed but benevolent attempt to attain universal health coverage while preserving the private insurance industry.

Although there is considerable government regulation, the insurance industry has always been highly regulated.

Some of the regulations are overreaching.

There is room for valid criticism of some aspects of ACA, but much criticism has been excessive and even factually inaccurate.

ACA is not a government takeover of health care. The IRS is charged with enforcing some 40 new tax code provisions, but will have zero role in health-care decisions.

Major employers are the key health-care decision-makers, and, along with the insurance industry, have invested considerable resources in planning for ACA.

Business relies on stability and would be traumatized by the uncertainty from defunding a law already in effect.

Stan Perrin

Crystal Lake

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