Letters to the Editor

Protect Act is a relic of poor thinking on health care

One of the great tragedies of our political existence is that some legislators, like Sen. Joni Ernst, do their utmost to sustain themselves on the nearly dissolved skeletons of ideas and regurgitate them like a famished turkey vulture. What’s more troubling, though, is that for issues where there should be a broad consensus, such as expanding the access to affordable health insurance coverage, they often feign sympathy while taking antagonistic measures. When it comes to those that face discrimination and exorbitant costs due to pre-existing conditions, this is most certainly the case for Ernst.

Indeed, if regression was synonymous with progress, perhaps you could consider the Protect Act, co-sponsored by Ernst, as an example of reform. But, in reality, the only difference is insurance companies will have to provide customers with exceedingly more expensive plans that offer comprehensive coverage. Moreover, there will still be a risk-based segmentation of medical costs because carriers will be allowed to sell less expensive plans that exclude coverage of some conditions. As a result, if this bill becomes law, the Commonwealth Fund estimates the mean annual out-of-pocket spending for some of the most costly chronic conditions could be between $500 and $6,000. This will spill into the broader economy.

Ernst will undoubtedly cite the efficiency of free markets, but this has become a barbarous relic of a theory.

Michael Culver

Cedar Rapids

Give us feedback

We value your trust and work hard to provide fair, accurate coverage. If you have found an error or omission in our reporting, tell us here.

Or if you have a story idea we should look into? Tell us here.

Give us feedback

We value your trust and work hard to provide fair, accurate coverage. If you have found an error or omission in our reporting, tell us here.

Or if you have a story idea we should look into? Tell us here.