Northwest Voices | Letters to the Editor
Affordable Care Act stays intact
Big step forward
In regards to the Supreme Court’s decision June 28 on the Affordable Care Act (ACA) [“Defining Decision,” page one, June 29], I lived in Prague for 12 years and learned firsthand what it is to live with national health care. It is very humanistic to care for others and to be cared for by others.
From direct experience I can say health care for all, supported by all, is excellent for body, mind, and family.
Today is a big step forward for every one of us, thanks to the ACA in the USA.
— Michael Minard, Seattle
Republicans, don’t be afraid of Obamacare
The sky is falling! We must repeal! Doom and gloom ... that’s the response from Republicans to the recent Supreme Court ruling upholding the Affordable Care Act.
Do Republicans find the prospect of providing more people with affordable health care so scary? Maybe the fact that an insurance company can no longer say “no” to a person with existing health conditions is horrifying to them? Or perhaps allowing young adults to remain covered under their parent’s insurance plan induces night terrors. Just what exactly to do they fear?
Republicans have been remarkably devoid of any substantive arguments backing their positions; their entire rant is based on cliché, ad hominem attacks and diversions aimed at denying President Obama any sort of success in this election year. Their tactics fall short, especially considering that many of the provisions in “Obamacare” were, in fact, first proposed and implemented by Republicans.
Further, they offer no alternatives other than retreating to the flawed and unsustainable patchwork of health care that failed so many Americans.
— Laurence Wechsler, Edmonds
A victory for people with cancer
The U.S. Supreme Court decision to uphold the Affordable Care Act law ensures that critical protections benefiting people with cancer and survivors will be implemented, such as prohibiting insurance companies from denying coverage to people with a pre-existing condition, requiring insurers to provide consumers with easy-to-understand summaries about their coverage and requiring health plans in the individual market to offer essential benefits needed to prevent and treat a serious condition like cancer.
The ruling is a victory for people with cancer — who for too long have been denied health coverage, charged more than they can afford, and forced to spend their life savings on necessary treatment, because they have a pre-existing condition.
The ruling also preserves provisions in the health-care law already in effect: assuring access to needed preventive care such as mammograms and colonoscopies without cost to patients; eliminating arbitrary dollar limits on coverage that can suddenly end care; and prohibiting insurance companies from unfairly revoking coverage when a person gets sick.
Now that the Supreme Court has ruled, all our elected officials in Washington state must continue to work together in a bipartisan effort to implement the health-care law for cancer patients, survivors and their families.
— Ellen Phillips-Angeles, Seattle
A decision for everyone in America
Thank goodness the Supreme Court made the correct decision on the Affordable Care Act. It proves that even a conservative court understands the vital importance of affordable health care for everyone in this country, not just the few who can afford an expensive private plan and not just Congress.
I hope this convinces Attorney General Rob McKenna, now Republican candidate for governor, that he’s barking up the wrong — and woefully inaccurate — “news bite” tree with his own lawsuit challenging the act’s constitutionality.
I, for one, as a single woman on disability, am glad Jay Inslee is on the Democratic campaign trail for governor since he has been fighting for this act since it was first created, and will fight to keep it safe once he’s in Olympia.
— Rosie Wigutoff, Seattle
Next step in health-care reform
With the Supreme Court decision upholding the Affordable Care Act, we are one step closer to removing barriers to affordable health care for millions of people who do not have employer-paid health insurance, Medicare or Medicaid.
But a question remains: What is to keep the doctors and clinics from refusing to accept people who have Medicare or Medicaid as their health-care coverage? As anyone who has tried to find a doctor to see an elderly family member knows, good luck getting an appointment if a patient is on Medicare.
That might be the next place to look for health-care reform.
— Susan Plahn, Seattle
As a future physician, I am grateful that the Supreme Court managed to remain above the fray of partisan politics and found the bulk of the Affordable Care Act constitutional.
While far from perfect, the ACA represents a step forward in healing our broken health-care system, through increasing access to care, improving quality measures and innovating in delivery and payment systems.
I am a fourth-year medical student and intend to enter the field of family medicine; I am especially grateful that the ACA’s measures to strengthen primary care remain intact. I am pursuing a career in medicine because I want to care for people, and the ACA helps to make that possible.
I am sure partisan attacks to roll back the benefits of the ACA will continue, but now is the time for looking forward to build on and improve our nation’s health. As I finish my medical degree, I will continue advocating for a Medicare-for-all style single-payer system, both here in Washington state and for the country as a whole, to serve as the foundation of providing high-quality, affordable health care for all.
There is much work to be done, but for the moment it is encouraging that the Supreme Court has ruled in support of the American people.
— Colin McCluney, MS-IV, Seattle