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August 9, 2013

READERS' FORUM: Aug. 9, 2013

State obscuring ACA’s benefits



The central role of the Indiana Department of Insurance is to help Hoosier consumers by insuring that they get accurate information so that they can protect their families. The Pence Administration has openly decided to abandon that role. Instead, it is using the Indiana Department of Insurance  to spread misinformation about health insurance out of resentment about the federal law known as ACA or Obamacare.

Under the ACA, health insurance is going to be broader and more effective. That is a good thing. Under ACA, more Hoosiers who do not have employer-provided health insurance will be able to get individual policies. That is also a good thing.

Many Hoosiers who could not afford individual policies in the past will now be able to afford coverage because of new federal credits and subsidies. Our Department of Insurance is choosing to obscure all of this while railing against the ACA. That is not its role.

Commissioner Stephen Robertson (in his Readers’ Forum letter published Wednesday titled “In defense of State of Indiana’s ACA cost claims”) has chosen to obscure the benefits of the ACA to consumers in hopes of derailing the ACA. He knows that Hoosier consumers will select health coverage based on the cost to them. That cost will often (but not always) be lower, while the coverage will be broader. He wants to scare Hoosiers away from health insurance by pointing to the sticker price, i.e. the  total cost to consumers and the government without discounts.

We are smarter than that. Hoosiers will look at the real price to them unless they are scared away from protecting their own interests. We  know that we paid federal taxes to subsidize health insurance and want to benefit from that.

Commissioner Robertson should be made to do his job by providing straight advice as to consumer choices and consumer costs in the individual insurance market. His job is to be sure we are well informed and have coverage. It is time the governor made him undertake that task.

— Ed DeLaney

State Representative

House District 86

Ranking Democrat

House Insurance Committee


 

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