This is in response to a story on Sunday, Feb. 9, 2014, "System drops area doctors." The blaming of the Affordable Care Act is entirely wrong. It is all about the insurance companies and their "profit motive" mentality.
The ACA allows insurance companies to make no more than 20 percent profit, that 80 percent of revenues a company takes in must be spent on patient care or they must rebate money back to customers. That started a while back and some companies ended up paying billions of dollars back, which means they were not spending it in patient care, which is their business.
These companies are not having financial problems. They are pursuing a new angle to make profit the cheapest way they can. It is what happens in a for-profit system that is based on the profit motive. The insurance companies are not in business to help people get medical care; they are in business to make money.
They have a long track record before the ACA of showing just what they would do to make money when their profit wasn't limited by the ACA. Insurance companies ran their own "death panels" under the title of insurance adjuster - denying coverage and dropping people when they got sick just to name two.
What I see happening is this: Everyone knows that there are different coverage amounts for staying "in the network" of your insurance company. A common example is full benefits are paid for doctors they include in their network and some companies will drop it to 50 percent for out-of-network or even none at all.
This is the insurance company's policy and has nothing to do with the ACA, yet.
That can change. The government can stop this practice by requiring insurance companies to cover all doctors equally. Cutting the number of doctors a company will keep "in network" creates demand for those left in network. So much demand that it cannot be met.
This is the insurance company's plan. It will make people go out-of-network and pay more for their care out of pocket. More out of your pocket is less out of their pockets and more profit for the companies.
Since many people like myself can't afford the deductibles anyway and don't go to the doctor, many more will do so. This makes it easier for the companies to make money without the headache of providing service. They will make their 20 percent easily and not feel bad at all if they have to pay a rebate.
I know all the ads and promotions insurance companies have about how much they care about you, the patient, but the facts have shown us others. This "profit motive" system of health care is why we pay more than double than any other modern nation.
It goes against the medical profession about doing no harm and their Hippocratic Oath. Single-payer, government-run health care like Canada and other countries has been proven to work.
Leif P. Damstoft Sr.