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Letter: Obamacare savings help pay premium costs

Published October 18, 2013 1:01 am

This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2013, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.

Re: letter from John Watson, "Taxpayers are paying health-care subsidies," Oct. 15: A family received a health policy that cost $850; they're paying $123 via the exchange created by Obamacare (ACA). Good question: "Who is paying the other $727 a month?" The answer is not as simple as it seems.

Those who pay taxes and pay for health insurance currently pay the majority of the catastrophic costs of health care for those who do not have health insurance. Hospitals, drug companies, durable medical manufacturers, etc. pass along parts of the cost of uncompensated care to those who do pay.

Accidents, premature births and cancer happen. The rising costs of such care have contributed to the rising costs of health insurance premiums.

Those having insurance often obtain care in less costly ways by using preventive services, maintaining their health with proper treatment, etc., thus avoiding more costly care in ERs and hospitals.

So the $727 will come from less cost shifting to the currently insured, less costly care and less burden to existing government health care programs due to uncompensated care. It also comes from higher taxes for some segments of the population, but not in entirety. There are some defensible rationale to explain what may seem indefensible.

Doug Hasbrouck

Riverton