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I had occasion to read David Dunn’s disingenuous guest column (Dec. 31). He misrepresents the Affordable Care Act, stating “Obamacare imploded prices and punished the individual paying for private health insurance.” In reality, the ACA’s troubles are directly due to Republicans working to destroy it.

The ACA, when enacted, set up "risk corridors" to help insurance companies with too many new sick people cover medical bills. The Republicans undermined this key financing mechanism by limiting Health and Human Services’ ability to protect insurance companies from financial losses, resulting in a sabotage of the ACA. The government was limited to paying only 13 percent of what insurance companies relied on to cope with the risks they assumed by participating in the insurance marketplaces. The result: the increased premiums Republicans claim in alleging the failure of the ACA.

Dunn’s ill-thought-out solution is “more free-market solutions for people who can pay on-demand in cash and/or through health savings accounts.” What he proposes is plans that do not protect people with pre-existing conditions and that people establish “personal tax-free health savings accounts administered by you, the individual.” This is all fine except it leaves countless millions, who live paycheck to paycheck, out in the cold.

Terry Hanson,

Miles City

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