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Health care law is not the way letter writer described

POSTED: June 24, 2011 1:00 a.m.

Regarding the recent letter by Mike Scupin, "Americans need to learn truth about health law," he says, "In its final form, (Obamacare) will place bureaucrats between you and your doctor and with that, the loss of the freedom you have to choose what service and doctor you prefer. It will simply disappear."

No, it won't. This is typical conservative propaganda and fear-mongering. It has long been a part of their talking points memo on the subject. Remember their baseless warnings about government death panels.

Scupin refers to Obamacare as government-run health care. He is mistaken there, too. It might have been fair to consider it government-run if the public option had not been removed, but that's gone. What remains is government-mandated minimum health insurance coverage.

For those who already have insurance coverage and are happy with their policy and health care, nothing will change. For those who have struggled to get care because they have been shut out by the insurance system due to any number of flimsy excuses like having a pre-existing condition, coverage will now be available.

For those who traditionally refused to get coverage, knowing they might still be treated at an emergency room under indigent care policies, the free ride is over. In any other situation, conservatives would call these kinds of people welfare cheats and freeloaders, but not here.

I have a question for those who argue against Obamacare. If the government can institute a draft and conscript citizens who will be forced to go to war and potentially give their lives to defend and protect all citizens as well as the territory and national interests of the U.S., why argue against forcing all citizens to buy health insurance coverage in order to protect the lives of citizens?

We have lost thousands of lives and spent trillions of dollars in the war against Osama bin Laden, al-Qaida and terrorism, but that enemy has killed only a small fraction of the number of U.S. citizens who die every year from lack of access to adequate health care. Clearly if we are going to commit money to save lives and protect citizens, we should put it where it will do the most good.

Unless you wish to suggest the real purpose of war and defense spending is to prop up and financially support the interests of defense contractors, in which case you might also argue that the primary purpose of health insurance is not to protect the health and lives of citizens, but to make profits for the insurance industry by denying coverage to those who need it the most.

Bruce Vandiver


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