July 20, 2016
Letters to the Editor
Milwaukee Journal Sentinel
PO Box 371
Milwaukee, WI 53201-0371
Via Fax: (414)-223-5444
Via E-mail: email@example.com
Federal Government’s Broken Promises Have Lasting Effects
I read with interest Guy Boulton’s article (7/19) detailing the obstacles faced by Common Ground Healthcare Cooperative during its start up as a non-profit insurer. As someone that has worked in health insurance for decades, I have come to know and respect CGHC as a company that puts people first and, as a smart competitor in an insurance market that should welcome more competition.
The article describes broken promises by the Obama administration and Congress that will have lasting implications for us all as taxpayers and insurance consumers. Consider that Obamacare envisioned a multi-year period where insurers adjusted to the rule that all individuals could buy coverage regardless of pre-existing conditions. Mr Boulton’s article describes the short sighted move by Congress to prevent insurers from receiving Risk Corridor payments during that adjustment period. The piecemeal repeal of just certain provisions – arguably worse than repeal of the entire law – has led to health insurance rate hikes for consumers that will far outweigh any direct taxpayer savings. It has also caused some insurers to abandon the federal Marketplace altogether, leaving fewer choices for consumers.
Unfortunately for CGHC, it also puts a promising future in jeopardy. This company might otherwise be succeeding, and paying back the federal loans they received to get started. Why did our government create the co-op loan program that aims to promote competition (a private industry solution), and then sabotage it so loans can’t be repaid? Could it be our elected friends (and candidates) have put political point scoring ahead of the needs of the American public?
Common Ground Healthcare is an asset to our community – one in which the US government invested our tax dollars. Our elected officials should work hard to protect it before it’s too late.
Jon C. Rauser, President
The Rauser Agency, Inc
Mequon & Milwaukee
Original Article: Common Ground Healthcare Cooperative faces a few fateful months