I think the AJC still requires registration to get into their website, so here's the text of my letter (the first one):
Government caused disparity in insurance
“Individual coverage frustrates Georgians” (News, June 21) ignores the fundamental reason for disparity between employer-provided group health insurance and private individual health insurance: government interference. It is not “economies of scale” or having an HR department to advocate on an employee’s behalf that account for the fact that group health insurance offers coverage with greater options and breadth than individual plans.
From ERISA laws, to the creation of HMOs to mandated employer-provided coverage, to COBRA and HIPAA laws, actions taken by the federal government are responsible for creating this inequity in the marketplace, by eliminating a market in which companies are free to compete.
As insurance companies have been forced to tailor their group products to the government’s demands, they have offset the costs of government compliance in the only other area of their businesses where they are freer to make actual business decisions —- individual health plans.
The only solution is to free insurance companies, employers and private citizens like me from the shackles of regulations.
They did a little tweaking but it's mostly the same as the piece I submitted. I added the line breaks above, because it was printed in the paper as one paragraph. Guess I'm used to blog-style publishing, with lots of line breaks; it looked weird to me as one paragraph.
Here's a link to the original piece "Individual coverage frustrates Georgians." In case you're registered.
So. There it is. I'm very pleased about this, because it was very interesting and rather fun to write (even though the original article irked me). And also it was fun to write about something other than my usual (though beloved!) topics. :o)
It was challenging to write this in a more formal style than I do on the blog--but it was an enjoyable challenge. And it was surprising to me how l-o-n-g it took me to compose that little thing. I enjoy writing--no, scratch that. I enjoy having completed well-written pieces. I do not enjoy the process of writing quite as much. It's "fun" in the hard-working, slightly painful sense of the word "fun." Do any of you regular bloggers suffer from such a dilemma?
I'll probably do it again. :o)