LETTERS: Risk corridor puts taxpayers on hook

To the editor:

Another myth spread by liberals has been exposed, as the Obamacare failure continues to spiral out of control. As long as I can remember, Democrats have claimed that Republicans are beholden to big business. Those old, white men are doing the bidding of the corporate giants and cutting them insider deals.

Look at the latest back-room deal cut by President Barack Obama, Sen. Harry Reid and Rep. Nancy Pelosi. It’s called the “risk corridor,” and it follows the path of the behind-the-scenes guarantees the federal government gave banks, which led to the financial meltdown.

Insurance companies are guaranteed by the Affordable Care Act to have their risk severely limited, through the risk corridor language in the law. In essence, the risk corridor says that if the Obamacare program doesn’t live up to its billing and only sick people sign up for Obamacare, the federal government will step in and cover a major part of the losses of insurance companies.

Sound familiar? Yes, the same back-room, government-backed deals akin to Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac gobbling up suspect home loans and sticking it to the taxpayer when the inevitable happens — the government program fails. And when this risk corridor ends up sending billions to the insurance companies on our dime, I’m sure the Democrats will find someone on the right to blame. Probably George W. Bush.



Health care: Then vs. now

To the editor:

In response to Brian Bresee’s Saturday letter (“ ‘Extremists’ right about Obamacare”), it seems people have forgotten what health care in this country was like prior to 2010. When I retired and moved here nine years ago, I bought an insurance plan from a company called Sierra Health and Life. I had to provide three years worth of comprehensive medical records showing my good health. I was approved, but the rates were increased to cover the costs of my glaucoma medication.

The people being highlighted on Fox News and other networks are what I call super users of health care services. If we go back to the 2009 rules, all of these people would be in dire straits. They require millions of dollars in medical treatment. Obamacare is the only reason that they still have insurance. Prior to Obamacare, sick people who were not of Medicare age had employer insurance and welfare once their resources were exhausted.

Today, there are nearly 80 million people enrolled in Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security Disability Insurance, and less than half the country gets employer-based insurance, according to Gallup. If Obamacare is repealed, the health exchanges will disappear, and the sick people in this country will lose whatever coverage they have.

I worked on medical issues in this country for many years and was an elected medical trustee in California. If Obamacare fails, it will be absolutely catastrophic for the sick.



Shrinking middle class

To the editor:

In Monday’s article on a new conservative organization in Nevada (“Conservative group makes state GOP officials nervous”), Nevada Democratic Party spokesman Zach Hudson said that “next year, Nevadans will again reject Republicans’ pro-Wall Street, anti-middle class agenda.”

I’m impressed by the unmitigated gall of Mr. Hudson to blame Republicans for the deeds of the past five years under the current Democratic administration. Its policy of quantitative easing has created a stock market bubble to benefit the wealthy elites while shrinking the middle class.

If Mr. Hudson truly cared about the middle class, he would encourage his party to abandon programs that invoke higher taxes and fees, crushing deficit spending, job-killing regulations and higher energy prices, which are shrinking the middle class.



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