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The positive spin on Obamacare's success doesn't match reality for many

To the editor: I have the utmost of respect for Times reporter Noam M. Levey’s superb healthcare writing, but this article seems like political spin. (“So you think Obamacare is a disaster? Here's how California is proving you wrong,” Oct. 7)

Other than a massive expansion of Medi-Cal, the Affordable Care Act (also known as Obamacare) has not really increased the numbers of individuals with real insurance. In fact, in Los Angeles County, it has actually decreased. And, not until near the end of this extensive article is it written that “in 2017, Covered California rates are increasing an average of 13.2%.” With inflation at only 1.1%, this increase is actually 1,200% of what one would desire. 

It is wonderful that Obamacre was extremely successful in helping people up to 200% of poverty level get better access to the health system, but for anyone other than those already on Medicare, it should be called the Unaffordable Care Act.

Howard C. Mandel, MD, Los Angeles

The writer is a member of the Los Angeles City Health Commission.

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To the editor: “The vast majority of consumers,” according to this article, will pay 5% more “at most” next year for health insurance. Tell that to my healthy 10-year-old, whose plan is increasing by 29%, or my wife, whose plan will go up by 34%. This is on top of increases from the previous year. 

I can’t feel good about the subsidy we receive, knowing that the government is sending more money to the giant for-profit health insurance corporation that covers us. It’s absurd, also, to crow about covering more “consumers” when you’ve made it mandatory to be covered.

This article fails, as my insurer does when asked, at giving even the barest explanation of what “rising medical costs” are, who is benefiting from them and why the government is able to do little about it.

Mike Flanagan, Los Angeles

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To the editor: It seems ironic that in the same week my son received his renewal letter from Blue Shield of California notifying him that his “middle of the road coverage” monthly rate would increase from $250 per month this year to $307 per month in 2017 (a 23% increase) that The Times would publish an article touting the financial success and affordability of the Affordable Care Act in California by citing increases in the 5% range. 

No wonder Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump is so successful in pushing his conspiracy theories on media manipulation of the electorate.

Robert Wood, Laguna Niguel

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