To the Editor,
Alan Canton’s recent opinion column published on the LifeHealthPro website creates an unfair distortion of insurance professionals. The people Mr. Canton describes in his broadside against critics of the Affordable Care Act do not resemble the many NAIFA members whom I have come to know well during my nearly 30 years as a member.
Mr. Canton paints with a very broad brush and still manages to miss the mark. Stereotyping agents and brokers as universally white, male, far-right conservatives intent on sabotaging the ACA is inaccurate. Equating them to pro-segregation bigots is outrageous.
NAIFA members come from communities all over the country and from various social, ethnic and religious backgrounds. They include Democrats, Republicans and independents. The Affordable Care Act and its emanating regulations are complex, filling thousands of pages. There are as many opinions about the law and its numerous provisions as there are NAIFA members.
The agents I know are hard-working professionals dedicated to helping American families protect their financial security. As I write this, many of them are helping individuals and small business owners understand and make the best of the myriad changes the ACA has brought to the American health care system, whether they agree with the law or not.
They include my colleague Juli McNeeely, an exceptional woman and capable leader who next September will become my successor as NAIFA president.
They include Marcus Newman, an agent in my home state of Illinois who has been sitting down with clients since the health care marketplaces opened to ease their anxiety and help them understand various options as they compare plans both on and off the ACA exchange.
They are people like Mercy Cabrera, a health broker recently profiled in the Miami Herald for her work reaching out within working-class Hispanic communities to help people understand the ACA and obtain coverage.
It is because of colleagues like these that I am exceptionally proud to be a NAIFA member.