Forum was not balanced

To the editor:

I was happy to see the Dakota County League of Women Voters (supposedly nonpartisan) was having a health care forum on June 1, billed as a “balanced panel discussion … where the average person can get answers on how policy proposals will affect their family’s health.” Unfortunately, the league and the panel were far from being balanced or nonpartisan. Rather than informing people, the main goal appeared to be to promote a single-payer national health plan.

The LWV chair and one of the panel members (previously the point person for the ACA under Obama), took every opportunity to bash our current congressman and deride him for not being at the meeting ­— without mentioning that he was never invited to come. Two others on the five-person panel were outspoken advocates of universal health care. One was a Ramsey County senator and chief author of the single-payer Minnesota Health Plan.

One panel member, the vice president for public affairs for BCBSM, did discuss how giving individual policyholders the same tax deductions that people who work for large employers get would help bring down consumer costs. He also mentioned how well Minnesota Comprehensive Health Association worked for high-risk people in the individual market, before the ACA eliminated it. But, when he stated that premiums rise because the cost of health care rises, he was derided by several people in the audience who denied this insisting the cost went up so the executives could get more wealth. This shows the ignorance of many of the people in the audience.

Many companies are losing money and dropping out because the claims paid out are higher than the premiums. This leaves a higher concentration of high-risk people in the remaining companies creating higher premiums, causing more healthy people to drop coverage, thus exacerbates the problem and basically creating a death cycle. I can’t help wondering if the intent of the ACA was to destroy our free-market health system and force us into a government-run plan. It’s unfortunate that we don’t have a truly nonpartisan group to explain all sides to this complex issue.

Candice Reyes