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posted: 11/25/2013 5:00 AM

Health care law reins in the insurers

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The Affordable Care Act solved three huge problems that people of all economic levels encountered. It does away with "pre-existing conditions." It does away with "lifetime policy limits." It gives all individuals access to "mental health coverage."

Prior to the ACA, the insurance industry came up with these three ingenious exclusions to allow them to make more money. They wrote policies for healthy people and then would raise their rates at renewal causing the healthy people to look for new coverage at a lower price. They would fill out a new application and get a better rate because they were healthy.

This caused only the sick people to stay with their old company, and each year their premiums would go up and up until they couldn't afford to keep their insurance. Those people then would not go to their doctor or get their medicine because they didn't have insurance. They would became sicker and sicker until they would get so sick that they had to go to emergency room (the most expensive point of care).

The individual states are charged with regulating the insurance industry. If they had done their job and prevented all of these exclusions, we wouldn't be arguing about a "website response time." Insurance was originally meant to be about the "law of large numbers" where you covered a lot of people and the policy was there to cover you when you needed it. The goal was never to make the CEO wealthier than they needed to be.

Jack Halpin

Arlington Heights

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