LETTER: Mad about ACA? Follow the money
To the Editor:
I noticed the big fuss over the Affordable Care Act, otherwise known as Obamacare. I did some research by following the money.
The National Association of Insurance Commissioners has a website at www.naic.org. The website has a chart. The chart shows the money people have paid to insurance companies for health care premiums (www.naic.org/state_report_cards/report_card_us.pdf).
According to the Insurance Commissioners, health insurance companies collected $2.8 trillion from 2007 to 2012. The premiums increased about $30 billion per year. Calculating back to 1997, it appears the companies collected about $8 trillion during those 15 years and about $20 trillion in the past 50 years.
That seems enough to pay the health care of every person in the country. There is a problem. Insurance companies are controlled by the individual states through their insurance commissioners. The states require health insurance companies to spend only 50 percent of the premiums they collect on health care. The question is, what happened to the other $10 trillion?
Several years ago, news reports showed that the CEO of one of the largest health insurance companies retired with $2 billion. Apparently, the leftover $10 trillion went into the pockets of the insurance companies. The ACA requires the companies to spend 80 percent of premiums on health care. The big fuss is all about the insurance companies getting less free money. They are upset about it. Ten trillion dollars buys a lot of politicians who are willing to stop the ACA by shutting down the government. They and the tea party appear willing to shut down the entire country at the same time.
The tea party has accused the president of more things and they have done more name-calling than will fit in this letter. Name-calling is a two-way street. A friend of mine recently told me that the name “tea party” actually stands for “the enemy of America party.” It is beginning to look like that may be true.