Letters: The middle class loses. Again.

Re "Californians uneasy about healthcare law," USC Dornsife/Times Poll, Nov. 10

The results of this poll are neither surprising nor particularly meaningful. Those who stand to gain from a law will support it; those who don't, won't.

In deep-blue California, the middle class has been steadily shrinking. The wealthy among us need not worry about escalating premiums, deductibles and copays as a result of the Affordable Care Act. Californians at the other end of the economic scale look forward to receiving government subsidies.

So as usual, the middle class, America's backbone, will be severely pinched. At what point will we be crippled altogether?

Doris O'Brien


The story line by proponents of the Affordable Care Act was that insurance policies would be required to meet minimum standards, including covering things such as preexisting conditions and lots of "free" preventive services. All of this sounds great, but to claim at the same time that policies including this additional coverage could be provided at reduced costs was ridiculous.

Perhaps you can give the proponents a pass, but critics who questioned these claims were vilified. Subsidies do not reduce costs, they just change who pays for the services — in this case, taxpayers, healthy young people and the upper-middle class.

This article points out what should have been obvious from the start and should have been openly debated when the law was first proposed.

John C. McKinney


The Times performs a disservice by publishing a front-page story that explains through statistics and poll results the public's confusion about the Affordable Care Act, while failing to address the underlying causes.

Why not follow up quotes about individual uncertainty with explanations that remove that uncertainty for the readership at large? Where are the stories detailing the advantages and disadvantages that will be realized once this law is fully enacted? Which groups of individuals benefit, and which suffer? What are the economic costs and benefits?

Mike Greenfield


Those listening in 2009 to President Obama say, "If you like your health insurance, you can keep it," heard the truth. It wasn't until after the law passed in 2010 that regulations were put in place to protect the consumer from "junk insurance."

After 2010, sellers of junk insurance were required to notify their clients, in writing, that their coverage did not meet the minimum standards required by the Affordable Care Act. This was put in the insurance contracts, but the companies did not actually point this out to their clients or let them know that there would be another change in 2014, when junk insurance could no longer be sold.

Consumer Reports warned of this in its March 2012 article, "Junk health insurance: Stingy plans may be worse than none at all." At the clinic where I work as a registered nurse, we have been giving uninsured patients copies of this article.

Susan Wong


I have only one question for all those who have had their current insurance policies canceled and now bitterly complain: Who did you vote for in the last presidential election?

Ray Shelton



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