Open letter to Sen. Angus King:
On June 20, you signed as co-sponsor to a bill restoring funding to ACA Navigators. Based on my experience as an ACA (Obamacare) Navigator, I think this is simply a feel-good measure and will do little to actually help Mainers.
The ACA was intended to provide universal, affordable healthcare. But, after working with hundreds of people in the Blue Hill Peninsula over the last six years, I see the ACA covering fewer people and prices are soaring.
If you don’t qualify for a subsidy, the ACA is not affordable. A Hancock County couple in their mid-40s with a family income of $70K would pay over 35 percent of their earnings in premiums, co-pays and deductibles. This Hancock couple can’t afford to be insured and I have worked with many others in the same situation. The ACA is restrictive. Networks are becoming more limited and there are fewer plans that address chronic conditions such as diabetes. Finally, the ACA is complicated. Why should a “navigator” be needed?
The biggest failure of the ACA is that it has no effective mechanism to control costs. Insurers do not have an incentive to limit hospital, provider and drug prices since higher prices boost their profits. Furthermore, the ACA actually forbids Medicare to negotiate drug costs.
Senator King, I urge you to do something meaningful. Become a co-sponsor of the Medicare for All Act of 2019. We need everyone to have access to healthcare and we need the ability to control costs… not just some window dressing.