Vernal P. Hegenbart

Vernal P. Hegenbart

Susan T. Hessel makes no attempt to hide her enthusiasm for Obamacare and socialism in her column in the Sept. 25 Tribune. She says our health care system should be single-payer, operated and controlled by the federal government.

The former Soviet Union is a prime example that large government-run programs rarely work. During a two-week visit there — before communism imploded — I witnessed the object poverty that its citizens endured. One of the things that amazed me was that I saw no houses in Moscow; everyone lived in apartments. Make no mistake about it, socialism is often the precursor to an alliance with communism.

Under Obamacare, so-called navigators receive 20 hours of training in order to help people understand the insurance plans available. These people will prove beyond a doubt that a little knowledge can be a dangerous thing. As a 40-year insurance agent, I could not in good conscience enroll anyone in Obamacare.

Hessel seems to have a deep animus toward insurance companies, although I suppose that’s understandable considering her infatuation with socialism. She complains about the difficulty in getting claims paid, but in my 40 years of experience, I’ve never seen a legitimate claim denied. Also, each state has an office that will investigate complaints, and the commissioners almost always side with policyholders.

What I have seen is people expecting too much. As is the case with most things, you get what you pay for when you buy insurance. Too often, people buy the cheapest coverage while expecting complete coverage. Reasonable people know that it can’t work that way.

Keeping sons and daughters on their parents’ insurance policies until age 26 is ludicrous. Everybody has to grow up sometime, and adults should be responsible for their own insurance long before age 26. This provision will cause premiums to increase substantially.

Obamacare, officially called the Affordable Care Act, is hardly affordable. The taxes of middle-class families will help subsidize insurance for a family of four that earns up to $94,000 per year.

Hessel pooh-poohs “death panels,” but she does not explain what the function of the Payment Advisory Board will be if not to decide who gets treatment. Also under Obamacare, doctors will be paid more if they order fewer tests, and doctors who prescribe costly treatments will see lower reimbursements.

Forcing insurance companies to insure people with pre-existing conditions is also nonsensical. It sounds kind and compassionate, but in most cases it rewards people who were irresponsible by not buying insurance before they needed it. What’s next? Will the government force insurance companies to insure houses already on fire or cars already wrecked? It’s basically the same thing.

Is there any reason to believe that irresponsible people will be any different under Obamacare? They are allowed to opt out, pay a small penalty, and when they get sick they still can enroll. What do you suppose that will do to premiums?

Currently, those who are ineligible for health insurance in Wisconsin can enroll in the Health Insurance Risk Sharing Plan, with generous subsidies for those with low incomes. The absurd provisions in Obamacare will cause premiums to skyrocket.

Insurance companies will be blamed when rates spike, especially by people who have not been paying attention. These same people will likely demand that the government “do something.”

If we have the same ultra-liberal leadership we have now, the government will be eager to take over. Then Hessel’s dream of utopian socialism — and my fear of the downfall of out great country — will be several steps closer.

If I may be permitted one more cliche — “When something seems to good to be true, it usually is.

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