Northwest Voices | Letters to the Editor
What Affordable Care Act does
I know for most people, the Affordable Care Act (ACA) seems like another big government program that will have little-to-no impact on their lives [“Defining decision,” page one, June 29], but my family saw first hand how it impacted us.
A little over four years ago, my dad got diagnosed with a rare form of cancer. He had good health insurance, a good job and had seemingly done everything right. But what he did not realize was that his insurance plan had a $1 million lifetime cap. For those who have not looked at the actual numbers of cancer treatment, $1 million is usually not enough.
Had the ACA not passed, his insurance would have run out. Then, once he had used that million dollars, his insurer would have said “Best of luck to you!” and dropped him from his insurance. Because he now had a pre-existing condition, he would not be able to find another insurance plan to cover him, and without the money needed for the treatments that saved his life, my dad would be dead right now.
It’s easy to talk about taxes or having to buy insurance but for me, it’s pretty simple.
— Kelly Gray, Sammamish
Decisions aren’t solely political
I am surprised that so many pundits find Chief Justice John Roberts’ decision surprising. Despite the oft-repeated denials that Supreme Court rulings are never political, I believe that decisions are made to satisfy a justice’s personal bias, whether political or otherwise.
Justices are human and like all of us, and they are driven by human nature. Decisions are made in accord with those biases, and then the law and the Constitution are used to justify the decision. Sometimes that justification appears to be on very thin ice (Gore vs. Bush, Citizens United, Montana).
Chief Justice Roberts did not follow a political bias for his health-care decision, but a need to protect the reputation of his court, and perhaps his own legacy as chief justice. With the perception of political bias governing court decisions, he felt the need to demonstrate that it was a false perception, and he clearly made his point in this ruling. While I am not an attorney, his justification seems well founded.
I do not like the thought that the Supreme Court hands down decisions based on personal bias or agenda, political or otherwise. I would rather that each decision be founded on a reading of the Constitution that was apparent to everyone, regardless of their persuasion, and with clear majorities in every vote. But that is not reality. I am not surprised.
— Richard Thompson, Bellevue