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Letters: Don't be quick to blame Obamacare

Individuals and small businesses on Long Island will

Individuals and small businesses on Long Island will have more and cheaper options for health insurance next year, according to the state, which released the plans to be offered. Credit: Istock

A letter writer describes how his son was charged nearly $16,000 by a hospital to treat a knee injury ["Obamacare gives insurers leverage," Aug. 22].

But oddly, he blames Obamacare for rewarding insurance companies' behavior by giving them access to millions of uninsured patients.

The fact is that the Affordable Care Act, a.k.a. Obamacare, will limit the profits of insurance companies, and make sure that more of their money goes to the insured. And insurance will, of course, be mandatory.

It seems that the writer is just intent on blaming Obamacare for any deficiencies in our health care insurance system, even those deficiencies the law seeks to correct.

Carl B. Maltzman, North Woodmere

Except for our insurance premiums, doctors and hospitals are the source of our health care costs, not insurance companies. If the hospital could accept one-third payment for those services and not go out of business, then the services probably didn't cost $16,000.

Maybe if the letter writer didn't have medical insurance and were faced with a $16,000 bill, he would have questioned the charges. But he blames the insurance company and is only out of pocket $1,159.

My younger son recently had an appendectomy with an overnight hospital stay. He is 21 and is finished with school. Before the Affordable Care Act, he would not have been eligible for coverage on my plan, and I would be footing the entire hospital and surgical bill.

Let's not be so quick to blame the ACA, and instead start looking at where the real problems lie.

Phil Cicciari, Westbury

Editor's note: The writer is retired from an insurance company that is not in the health care business.

Instead of decrying Obamacare, the letter writer should be thankful for it.

The writer really should familiarize himself with the provisions of Obamacare. Insurers are required to spend 80 percent to 85 percent of premiums on health care costs and claims, with the remainder left for administrative costs and profits. This measure will hopefully do much to curb excesses.

The real problem is with the cost of care. Exorbitant charges are made by hospitals, often with no relationship for the same treatment from one to the next.

Peggy Bruno, Middle Island