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March 31, 2012 at 4:00 PM

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Awaiting a Supreme Court decision on the Affordable Health Care Act

Right to affordable care

Kathleen Parker’s column, “Health care rights and civil rights” [Opinion, March 29] misses the point of the Affordable Health Care Act.

We, the people of the U.S., have a major problem. We have 40 to 50 million people who don’t have health care even though we spend more money per person on health care than any other nation in the world. Hospitals and emergency rooms spend billions of dollars each year for people who choose not to purchase insurance or for people who cannot afford it. The costs for their care is passed on to the rest of us through higher insurance premiums and taxes.

The mandate to purchase health care or sign up for Medicaid, if you cannot afford it, is required because the program will not work otherwise. This is true of all private health insurance. I am in a pool of people who pay a premium each month, whether we need health care or not. Eventually all of us will.

The “civil rights” in this case is that all Americans have a right to affordable health care and we all need to cooperate together to make it work for the common good of everyone.

— Jim Burns, Edmonds

Bill will not mean a ‘free ride’

I am not surprised that progressive liberals are all for the Obama health-care bill, since they think they will get a free ride at taxpayers expense. [“Health-law advocates appeal to justice’s notion of liberty,” News, March 30.]

Don’t kid yourself; everybody, in time will have to pay some of their health insurance, even with this health-care bill, once they turn 65. My husband and I are over 70 and still have to pay for Medicare, but we were smart enough to get supplemented health insurance, also, after retirement.

Why do they think there are so many hidden clauses in the over 2,200 pages of this bill? Have they really read the whole bill? And why do you think House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi told Congress, in 2009, before the election of Republicans took over the House in 2010, to vote on the health-care bill, even before they could read it?

Since we are seniors, my husband and I are fed up with having to pay for people who do not wish to seek health insurance, because they can get and receive Medicaid and/or Medicare. If they can’t afford Medicare, they can get Medicaid for little or nothing. Medicaid is an entitlement, Medicare, is not. Because, if you have taxes taken out of your pay check, you will see you are having Medicare taken out also.

This health-care bill has so many holes in it, it looks like Swiss cheese.

— Pat Gee, Federal Way

Illogical rationale

Medical attention is a service that everyone will eventually use, even if it is to deliver their body to the morgue. When I hear people equate medical service with the purchase of a cellphone or forcing people to eat broccoli, I want to scream.

Forcing people to eat broccoli is not the same as mandatory health coverage. I hope that the brilliant minds of the Supreme Court do not buy into this illogical rationale.

The future of health care in this country hinges on this one idea and I sincerely hope that the Supreme Court justices will not let it influence their decision. Expecting other people to pay for your medical services by being uninsured and going to the emergency room is wrong and spreads the cost to the rest of us.

— Ralph Federspiel, Kirkland

Government insurance should only be for uninsured

I have an alternative plan regarding forcing people to buy health insurance (aka the ACA/Obamacare plan): No one must buy health insurance unless it happens they get sick and must see the doctor or go the emergency room.

My plan is very simple: If you do not get sick, then you do not need to buy health insurance. If you show up to an emergency room because you are very sick or injured or otherwise need emergency care, then a government-issued insurance program bill will be added to your hospital bill and for the next year you will have health insurance. When that year expires, you can either choose to buy health care again or not and wait until the need arises.

My plan accomplishes two things. Firstly, it could possibly motivate people to make better decisions: a) preventive health measures (exercise, eat healthy, lose weight, etc.); b) not abuse drugs and alcohol in a way that would merit a hospital visit; and c) make less risky decisions that would cause a broken bone or other injury (sometimes even a personal choice like overexerting from exercise, for example).

Second, no one will be forced to buy something they do not wish to buy, but if they get sick (as most people do) and when his or her Social Security number is entered into the hospital’s computer system, his or her insurer will pop up. If it doesn’t, they will automatically be enrolled in the government insurance program.

Seems like a win-win to me.

— Allison King, Seattle


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