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Shame on you for disseinating these crass falsehoods about Cuba

To The Daily Sun,

I have just finished reading the article in Thursday, Dec. 3's, Daily Sun about the recent "adventures" of Dr. Nancy Dirubo in Cuba.

From what planet this lady has issued forth? Where has she been for the last 50 years, when everybody now is aware that Cuba is simply a disaster in every respect, amply documented in books, articles and other serious and scholarly publications? What she saw down there is simply a show crafted for gullible, misinformed travelers for Cuba to get dollars.

Does she know about the "Potemkin Villages" the Soviets displayed for tourists back in the 30s? Has she read Reynaldo Arenas' book on the savage persecutions of the gays in Cuba? Does she know the well-documented fraud is Cuba's care for its the common people? Does she know or investigated the conditions the political dissidents suffer when arrested? Does Dr. Dirubo know about Hemmingway, a guest of Che Guevara, attending and witnessing the executions while totally drunk? And all of those vintage cars may be funny but not for those who fix them being their only means of transportation.

And to reporter Gail Ober, shame on you that you lend yourself to disseminate those crass falsehoods to help promote the future adventures of Dr. Dirubo in Cuba.

Dr. Manuel & Gloria Marquez-Sterling

Plymouth

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Obamacare isn't controlling costs; if insurers decide to exit . . .

To The Daily Sun,

Dr. Ezekiel Emanuel played a major role in crafting and promoting Obamacare. He is now admitting what has become painfully obvious: the so-called Affordable Care Act designed and marketed to the public as a cost-reduction measure, is failing by its own standards. The law isn't controlling costs.

People are feeling this is less and less insurance and just more and more, I'm paying out of my pocket. The plans offered on government-run exchanges need to be more affordable in order to boost participation rates. High-deductible plans are part of the problem. We have to focus on cost control. Affordability is absolutely critical because if we don't have affordable plans we are not going to get universal coverage. They are intimately linked. The program is not actuarially sound.

With rates rising substantially across most of the country, consumers are also being pummeled with climbing out-of-pocket costs. They're forking over a fortune before the coverage they're paying into each month even kicks in at all. When it finally kicks in many are discovering narrow networks and difficulty securing actual care.

It's telling that Hillary, godmother of Obamacare, feels compelled to offer new health care affordability proposals. We can all hold hands and chant the "it's working" slogan all day long, but her actions tell the story. Recently, America's largest private insurer signaled that it is seriously considering pulling out of the Obamacare market, citing major losses that look unsustainable over time. This is a big deal.

New enrollment projections have been slashed. A slew of state-level Obamacare co-ops have gone belly up, 12 of 23 which opened their doors, and the rest, as a group are losing money ... an estimated $200 million. The adverse selection problem arising from older, sicker risk pools is real.

For UnitedHealth, claims data have been getting worse as time has gone on, and there's no evidence pointing toward improvement. Their assessment is that that the company cannot sustain these losses. They can't really subsidize a marketplace that doesn't appear at the moment to be sustaining itself.

2017 is significant for insurers, because that's the year when several programs designed to mitigate risk for insurers through federal backstops go away. The hope was that those programs would act as training wheels for Obamacare in its first few years. After that, the insurers were supposed to be able to thrive on their own.

UnitedHealth's statement suggests otherwise. If UnitedHealth and other insurers decide to exit, remaining insurers will be forced to take on even more high-risk enrollees, prompting them to either raise rates further or exit themselves. That's how a market "death spiral" begins.

Marc Abear

Meredith

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