Insurance firms the true culprits

By Mark Neahring, M.D.
The News-Gazette (Champaign, Ill.), Letters, Oct. 25, 2016

The News-Gazette editorial board accurately expressed the frustration of many when it critiqued President Obama's signature legislation, the Affordable Care Act.

But it got a very important point wrong. The ACA is not an "all-encompassing government-run health care program."

After insurance company lobbyists spent hundreds of millions of dollars to influence the legislation, they were able to craft a health care law that protected their own bottom line over the common good.

The premiums and deductibles of my patients are skyrocketing while these profiteers write — and change at will — the rules of the game.

According to Physicians for a National Health Program, Aetna CEO Mark Bertolini made $27.9 million in 2015 in compensation. This at the same time the insurance company is backing out of many states' health care exchanges because they not profitable enough.

Let's not scapegoat President Obama when the real villains are so sinister. Corporate greed has no place in our nation's health care system.

The best solution would be an improved "Medicare-for-all" plan, where patients have free choice of provider, complete coverage and controlled costs.

Dr. Mark Neahring resides in Dewey, Ill.