Northwest Voices | Letters to the Editor
Affordable Care Act
Health care and governor race
The Supreme Court’s landmark ruling to uphold the Affordable Care Act proved that Jay Inslee was right to vote in favor of health-care reform [“Defining decision,” page one June 29].
He took a stand to enable children to stay on their parents’ health-insurance plans up until the age of 26, protecting the health of young adults. He ensured that survivors of diabetes and other diseases will never be turned down for health insurance on the basis of pre-existing conditions.
His opponent, Rob McKenna, instead chose to join other states in filing a lawsuit against the Affordable Care Act — McKenna came out on the wrong side of history. Washington state cannot afford to be governed by someone who puts tea-party interests over the health of hundreds of thousands of Washingtonians. We need a leader who will stand up for the people of Washington state.
Inslee’s record in Congress — from voting against the Iraq war to voting against the deregulation of Wall Street — shows that he is the right person for the job.
— J.M. Clinton, Des Moines
The right decision
I was elated to hear that the Supreme Court upheld the Affordable Care Act, but not for myself, but for all the Washingtonians who will now have access to health insurance. My mom had breast cancer a few years ago, so I know how important it is to have health insurance. The cost of her chemotherapy and surgeries would have surpassed $100,000 without insurance and would have easily bankrupted her.
No one in our country should have to go through an ordeal like that without health insurance. I’m proud of politicians like Democratic candidate for governor Jay Inslee, who supported the Affordable Care Act that will expand access to health insurance to hundreds of thousands of people in our state. His competitor, Republican Rob McKenna, not only attacked the law, but also joined the lawsuit attempting to strike it down.
That’s not the kind of leadership Washington needs.
— George Rowe, Seattle
What about the downside?
The Times devotes pages to outlining the “goodies” in Obamacare, but pretty much limits any discussion about the downside of Obamacare to the mandate to buy insurance. There is much, much more to object to in this horrible piece of legislation — not the least of which are the near dictatorial powers granted to the Secretary of Health and Human Services. Something like 60 or 70 times in the bill it says, “ as the Secretary may determine.”
And what about the cost? When the bill was passed, the administration played games to make the cost look like it was going to be under $1 trillion. The Congressional Budget Office has since rescored the estimate of what it’s going to cost, and it is way more than what we’d originally been told. Free health care? Hardly.
And this is just the tip of the iceberg of the onerous provisions in this very flawed piece of legislation.
— Mark Ursino, Sammamish
Republican health-care alternative
I agree with people who have said that just because the Supreme Court ruled the Affordable Care Act (Obamacare) is constitutional, doesn’t necessarily make it good law or good policy. And I will support every effort of the Republican Party to overturn Obamacare, right after they tell us why their proposal is better than the status quo or Obamacare
Oh wait, they don’t have a proposal.
— Mark Quinn, Olympia
A recent letter in The Times implied that doctors in academic practice support “Obamacare” but not those in private practice [“Doctor’s opinions,”Northwest Voices, seattletimes.com, July 3]
. Actually, there are a large number of primary-care doctors in private practice who support Obamacare because it provides more reimbursement for the type of care they provide in their offices daily — seeing patients with chronic diseases, encouraging health maintenance and disease prevention.
The American Medical Association, American Academy of Family Physicians, American Academy Pediatrics and American College of Cardiology, which together have about 400,000 members (out of about 1 million doctors nationwide), have come out in praise of the Supreme Court upholding the Affordable Care Act.
The support from the American Medical Association is particularly remarkable because it had opposed every other health-care reform in the past, including private health insurance in the 1930s, health-maintenance organizations in the 1950s, Medicare in the 1960s and Clinton’s health-care reform proposals in 1990s.
That is because the Affordable Care Act rewards primary care, provides coverage for 30 million Americans who did not have it before, prevents insurance companies from denying coverage for pre-existing conditions and dropping coverage when patients become seriously ill and forces insurance companies to spend at least 80 percent of the premiums on providing member benefits or refund part of the excess premiums collected to the members. Next month, the insurance companies are estimated to refund about $2 billion in excess premiums they collected last year.
All in all, Obamacare is a good deal.
— Murali Sivarajan, M.D., Seattle