To the Editor:
A month ago, I insisted that my husband go for his annual physical. After a little wrangling and bribery, the appointment was set and he went in to do lab work. A month later, the bills started arriving. For us, with insurance, the office visit and lab work totaled $341. Over 5 million Texans do not have insurance. For them an annual physical would cost $1,238. We know this is a cost they cannot incur, so they wind up in the Emergency Room with even higher bills.
We as taxpayers pick up the tab in higher premiums, higher deductibles, higher costs out of pocket and higher property taxes. The Affordable Care Act is a first step to repairing this broken system; 13 million people bought insurance through the ACA, proving that if people can afford insurance, they will cover themselves. We keep hearing promises from Republicans that all Americans will have “access” to health care.” Technically, I have “access” to Lamborghinis, but that doesn’t mean I can afford to buy one. The Republican Party’s insistence that buying insurance across state lines is absurd. We can already buy insurance across state lines and nobody likes it. Every state has its own criteria regarding what the insurance companies must cover. I had one of those across-state-lines policies: it was an 80/20 plan. I paid 80 percent and I fought them to pay 20 percent and paid $400 a month for the privilege.
I don’t want to go back to a system that allows insurance companies to charge whatever they want for a policy that covers nothing.