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April 4, 2012 at 4:00 PM

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Affordable Care Act

Big money

Why does the medical insurance industry so adamantly oppose the Affordable Care Act? After all, the act would require 22 million currently uninsured Americans to purchase medical insurance. [“Obama remark on health case draws judge’s ire,” News, April 4.]

You’d think that the industry (a legal cartel) would welcome 22 million new paid customers for its very profitable insurance enterprise. The answer lies not in the one provision of the act that is the center of public attention (mandatory insurance coverage), but in another provision that is, conveniently, escaping much attention. That other provision would require the medical-insurance cartel to spend “no less than 80 percent f medical insurance premium revenue on medical care for the insured.”

Currently, none of the cartel expend anywhere near 80 percent on medical care for the insured. To do so would interfere with their loaded “administrative overhead expenses,” not to mention their extremely high-net profits.

The Supreme Court will soon demonstrate once again whether or not it (like Congress) serves big money. The justices’ early arguments focused on whether they should rule on just the constitutional issues put before them, or on the entire act.

The medical-insurance cartel wants the entire Act quashed, so its megaprofits can continue to roll, unfettered by any silly notions about efficiency or accountability in its private-sector business.

While Americans focus their attention on the “mandatory insurance coverage” provision of the act . . . big money is (as usual) laughing all the way to the country club.

— John Bartz, Olympia

McKenna’s lawsuit

Republican gubernatorial candidate Rob McKenna’s lawsuit against the new health-care law is not a narrow legal issue, but rather an attempt to radically change 80 years of precedent and progress. [“McKenna blames state budget stalemate on House speaker,” seattletimes.com, April 2.]

His lawsuit puts at risk prevention and protections we in Washington take for granted.

We have expanded preventive care, such as cancer screening for seniors and maternity care and contraception for younger women. We have protections, such as a ban on lifetime caps on insurance payments and rules that keep insurance companies from refusing to cover sick people. Insurance companies cannot charge women more than men for the same coverage. And Medicare has been strengthened and made more solvent.

McKenna’s lawsuit puts these hard-won changes at risk. He says he is only interested in a narrow part of the patient-protection law, but his suit attacks all of these areas. McKenna’s suit is asking for radical changes that turn back the clock to 19th century.

We have made important and needed changes over the past few years that have helped strengthen our families, provided more security for the middle class and given our kids a better chance for success. McKenna talks like a conservative, but is acting like a radical.

— Bob Crittenden, Seattle


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