Health care


Reviews mixed for MNsure

For the past four-plus years, I have paid more than $1,100 per month for health insurance. I am retired and live on a fixed income of Social Security and life savings. With a bit of effort and some bumps, I am an approved member of MNsure, and that will mean a savings of $600 per month. My new policy has a $100 deductible vs. $800 under my previous plan.

The copays are less, and the 80/20 coverage the same. Did I have some difficulty getting a profile on MNsure? Yes, but when I got help from a free navigator, the process was made easy and ultimately successful. I had more trouble buying online on Black Friday.


It’s employer vs. employee

Picture this scenario: You’re driving and obeying all traffic laws, when suddenly someone runs a stop sign and T-bones your car, leaving you severely injured and in trauma. The good news: An ambulance arrives quickly and soon you are stabilized and will recover. The bad news: Your employer is headed by a Jehovah’s Witness and, due to a Supreme Court ruling, does not have to provide insurance covering blood transfusions since Jehovah’s Witnesses don’t believe in blood transfusions (“Religion as a sword in the ACA debate,” Dec. 1). This is a dangerously slippery slope. Do we really want corporations dictating their religious beliefs to their employees?


Obamacare wasn’t necessary

I take issue with the assertion by President Obama that those with private insurance may have believed they had good insurance until they got sick. We’ve had the same insurance for almost 30 years and have always been served very well by it. This included helping pay for a preemie baby (which was very costly), filing claims for accident injuries that occurred out of state, and covering unexpected hospital stays. Never in those 30 years were we denied payment or dropped from our coverage, nor did we receive an increase higher than a reasonable amount each year.

Now, unfortunately for us, the insurance for my husband and me is increasing considerably due to the ACA and has been dropped totally for our 26-year-old daughter, who found a very affordable plan of her own. So I’d like the president and our senators and representatives to know that what was in place was working for our family.


Americans: Short on patience

Traditionalists are always frightened by fresh or adventurous ideas and immediately erect barricades. Instead of making efforts to evaluate a new program objectively, they unleash a storm of criticism that dispenses with all rational thinking. This was the original fate of Social Security, Medicaid and Medicare, and so it is with the ACA, enacted to alleviate some of the many inequities that existed under a system in which the rich could buy ample insurance and those who could not afford it faced the threat of bankruptcy because of an illness.

There are always snags to be worked out in any program that involves millions of U.S. citizens, but instant perfection is expected even by those who support such a plan. Patience is not an American virtue.

LEE PAULSON, Glenwood, Minn.

As IT project, it was doomed

I am a supporter of President Obama and of the ACA. That said, as a retired information technology (IT) executive, I am completely unsurprised that the launch of such a large-scale Web-based system in such a short time frame is having serious problems.

There is a lesson in this high-visibility fiasco for all senior executives — both in government and in private business: A “make it so” executive attitude toward IT projects is almost certain to cause those projects to fail or have serious problems. High-level executive commitment and involvement is critical to the success of major IT projects. President Obama and Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius have now learned this to their sorrow.


Expect more of the same

Ah, Obamacare, the crown jewel of progressive legislative achievement: retailed by promises that would embarrass a carnival barker; passed, through legislative bribery and procedural trickery, by an evanescent majority. Now we finally get to see what is at the end of the fork. Its rollout, dysfunctional, chaotic, even “excruciatingly embarrassing,” might be its first flirtation with standards of truth in advertising. This is what you’re in for, people. Under central planning, “glitches” are not exceptional, they are normal. The madness is just beginning.

CHIP ALLEN, Woodbury

ACA provides hope for many

My uncle, a 52-year-old in excellent health, was diagnosed with terminal colon cancer this month. He was given two to four years to live and started his first round of chemo last week. His condition has rapidly deteriorated, and we were afraid he would not be able to work any longer, which we thought meant he would lose his health insurance, and then be unable to procure health insurance on the private market because of his pre-existing condition. However, then we realized that this is what the ACA was designed to prevent. Because of the ACA, private insurers will no longer be able to exclude or discriminate against those with pre-existing conditions. This means that if my uncle has to quit his job because he is too sick to work, he will be able to purchase health insurance on the private market. This has been a huge weight off our minds.

What would the Republicans have people like my uncle do if they are successful in their attempts to defund Obamacare? Simply go off and die without health insurance? Quit his whining and pull himself up by his bootstraps? If they are so opposed to the ACA, I would like to hear what alternative they propose for people like my uncle who become too sick to work, but still desperately need health insurance.

EMMA DENNY, Minneapolis