The Snowflakes (Liberal Democrats) are happy, the Charcoals (Conservative Republicans) are seething, and insurance companies are all smiles.The Affordable Care Act (ACA) is still the law of the land. Who really won?
The real answer is the insurance companies who have bought the U.S. Congress. Now the question is -- how do we fix the ACA and wipe the smiles off the faces of insurance company executives?
Yes, ACA has many problems. This includes the fact that the insurance companies keep bailing out of individual coverage, with the usual excuse that they are losing money. This allows remaining insurance companies to increase premiums, leaving millions unable to afford health care.
Offering coverage at a cost that no one can afford is basically the same as not offering coverage at all.
So what can we do to stop this monopolistic action? How about this as an example, here in Nebraska? We tell our legislators to pass a bill that requires an insurance company to provide coverage under ACA if they want to do business in this state.
You may ask yourself -- why we would want to do this and what effect would it have on the premiums charged under the ACA? Well, stop and think what competition in the market place does to the cost of goods and services. Competition is the best regulator of costs, when inside deal making is taken out of the picture.
Right now, the biggest insurance company in the state, with approximately 400,000 non-ACA policy holders, has bailed out of ACA, stating that they lose money on people covered under that program. This insurance company is designated as a non-profit, with a cap on net profits not to exceed 2-4%, and a cap on capital in reserve of approximately $400 million. This company has exceeded both of these limits, while the Nebraska Department of Insurance has turned a blind eye.
Industry in America was created by competition, not by backroom deals. We need to tell state legislators to create laws and enforce existing laws that benefit all people in Nebraska, and tell insurance company lobbyists that the people and their representatives are not for sale.
It is our turn to win, regardless of which political party we are affiliated with.
I almost forgot to give you what I believe are good definitions of the terms Snowflakes and Charcoals, used to make fun of and/or criticize those with opposing views. I developed these from several sources.
Here is a description of Snowflakes: “Believed to be overly sensitive persons, incapable of dealing with opinions that differ from their own. These people can often be seen congregating in ‘safe zones’ on college campuses. They believe all people are entitled to equality under the law and deserving of those things that made America great.”
The term “Charcoal”, was related to a movement in Italy in the early 1800s and the characterization still appears appropriate.
“Charcoals are a network of individuals who strive to influence other groups, regardless of potential for political turmoil. Their goals are perceived with a patriotic basis; but they lack a political agenda beneficial to all in the society. They are a focus for those unhappy with what they perceive as a repressive political situation. The chief purpose is to establish a strict constitutional government. Many doubt their achievements are proportional to their pretensions and disruption of current social norms.”
So, we as a society must come to terms with what both Snowflakes and Charcoals offer in creating an environment of coexistence through compromise.
This balance must benefit both sides of the political equation. Give and take is necessary if we are going to solve problems that face all of us, such as the current medical insurance issue.
By Mike Cook, North Platte