Alex Brandon, file, Associated Press
President Barack Obama greets members of the audience after a town hall meeting on the Affordable Care Act, June 8, 2010, at the Holiday Park Multipurpose Senior Center in Wheaton, Md.

In a recent op-ed ("A plan for cutting health care costs," My View, Dec. 23), the author claims that insurers that collect premiums of over $50 million should not be subject to additional costs under the Affordable Care Act (ACA). But he leaves out the rationale.

The ACA bans discriminatory practices that are currently all too common by insurers, such as imposing annual and lifetime limits on coverage and leaving consumers responsible for the full cost if they need care for a chronic illness beyond a certain dollar amount. It also prohibits insurers from denying coverage for pre-existing conditions or dropping people from coverage once they become sick.

Under the ACA, small businesses receive tax credits for offering coverage to employees so more people can be covered through work, and employers will be allowed to offer employees discounts of up to 30 percent on their insurance costs. Employers with fewer than 50 employers are exempt completely from insurance mandates under the ACA, so small businesses who still do not want to offer coverage, despite these incentives, will not be under any obligation to do so.

Insurers need to take responsibility for providing fair coverage without expecting consumers to pick up the bill.

Danny Harris