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Letter: Affordable Care Act will collapse

October 29, 2013

The GNP’s editorial Oct.19 on the “Affordable Care Act (ACA) is good for our heath” is a matter of opinion. It will be affordable only to those who are low-income and eligible to get subsidies. All the rest will have sticker shock.

The president ultimately will have no choice but to delay the ACA implementation due to its disastrous online meltdown. There are already several Democrats urging its delay. Once it is finally implemented, it will fail under its own weight.

There are 37 states that refused to implement the ACA exchange. The Obama administration decided to set up a massive federal online exchange for those non-participating states. Although the IRS contravened the text of the law when it promulgated a regulation to issue subsidies in all 50 states, it lacked the authority. Individuals are only eligible for subsidies if they purchased a policy on their state’s exchange, not federal. A lawsuit soon followed, which a judge allowed to proceed.

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The ACA is designed to provide primarily coverage, not access to healthcare. There are fewer doctors and hospitals participating in the ACA exchange due to low reimbursement rates, resulting in longer office appointment wait times. Many businesses are dropping their employee healthcare plans due to higher coverage requirements and costs. The ACA will rely more on nurse practitioners and doctor assistants to treat patients due to a doctor shortage, many doctors retiring, and others going private.

Finally, the ACA needs 7.5 million healthy young adults to sign up to cover the cost of the elderly. That will not happen. Rather than paying thousands of dollars annually with a high deductible, they will opt pay the penalty, $95 per person (up to a family maximum of $285, or 1% of family income, in its first year.

Kenneth Landon
Glendale

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