Mailbag: Obamacare goes beyond helping the poor

Re. "Healthcare CEO compares 'Obamacare' to DMV" (Aug. 1): I was troubled by some of the comments attributed to Dr. Richard Afable, chief executive of Covenant Health Network, in the Daily Pilot last week.

In a speech to the Newport Beach Chamber of Commerce, Afable is quoted as saying that Obamacare seeks to improve "access to care for those who don't have access today for financial reasons" and attempts "to get the federal government out from underneath the huge financial liability that it has in paying for the care of 100 million people in this country."

There are many other reasons for not having health insurance besides lack of money. Pre-existing conditions and reaching the lifetime limit of health coverage were but two of many factors keeping untold numbers of people from health insurance. (Fortunately, these two obstacles have already been eliminated by Obamacare.)

The second point, that Obamacare seeks to free the federal government from funding 100 million people, completely ignores the fact that the new law expands Medicaid substantially and will pay the states 100% of the cost for the first year and 90% thereafter — an amazing incentive for states to increase care for their uninsured populations. Unfortunately, many states, driven by ideology rather than concern for their people, have refused these funds and thereby the opportunity to increase access to healthcare.

Everyone acknowledges that there will be snags and difficulties in administering such a huge new program, but saying, "Think about the Department of Motor Vehicles running your healthcare," to chuckles from the audience, doesn't encourage cooperation, patience and ingenuity in helping to make it work.

Afable concludes by stating we have the best healthcare in the world if (and the "if" is telling) we have private insurance, Medicare and live in Newport Beach. Obamacare intends to include all those outside the "if."

Jean Forbath

Costa Mesa


Obamacare, private sector

Since the new healthcare law is attached to private insurance companies and not run by the government, what exactly is Richard Afable's complaint? Is he saying that his own company is not up to the task?

Robert Rasmussen

Costa Mesa


Public relations event

Guess we were not at the same event. I saw it as a public relations event for Hoag Hospital to make nice-nice after the bad PR of the last weeks.

Richard Afable's statement that Obamacare is an attempt to get the federal government out from under the huge financial liability that it has in paying for the care of 100 million people in this country is a joke. Since when is offering a subsidy from the federal government not a financial liability?

Renae Kaye

Costa Mesa

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