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Letter: ‘Free’ market health care is too pricey
First Published Feb 11 2014 01:01 am • Last Updated Feb 11 2014 01:01 am

I get so very tired of free-market enthusiasts saying "Let the free market work" to bring down health-care costs. (Sen. Orrin Hatch’s op-ed "Obamacare threatens Utah families’ future," Feb. 9, is the latest example.)

If the free market has been so efficient, why did my free-market, high-deductible, pre-ACA premium of $1,450 drop to $780 in January when I switched from a non-conforming policy to an ACA "bronze" policy?

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The individual market on healthcare.gov shows that I couldn’t even spend $1,450 for a "gold" plan, as the maximum premium there is $1,223. If the free market is so good why didn’t it lower premiums prior to January? Why was I paying almost twice as much for a comparable policy from the same company?

And why was I paying $1,450 for a high-deductible policy? All but one in our family were denied private insurance, so we rolled from employer-based coverage to COBRA to the Utah continuation coverage. The free market decided we weren’t healthy enough to make enough of a profit on, even though we haven’t ever been close to our deductible.

Someone tell me again about the benefits of a free market here, because I haven’t seen them myself.

Scott McCarty

Cottonwood Heights

Copyright 2014 The Salt Lake Tribune. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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