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Letter to the Editor - Supreme Court Affirms 'Obamacare'

Columbus Dispatch,

July 4, 2012

Over the past few days, since the recent Supreme Court decision affirming ObamaCare, several letters have appeared in the Dispatch questioning not only the Court’s decision but also conservative Chief Justice John Roberts’ courageous deciding vote to uphold the law’s constitutionality.

The most prominent criticisms were in the lead editorial in Sunday’s paper.

You said “hundreds of thousands of people who already are eligible to enroll in Medicaid but haven’t will be required to do so.” 

Is that a bad thing?  Don’t the poor deserve health care?

Then you listed things “we found out” since the Affordable Care Act was signed into law in 2010.

         “The mandate is a massive new tax on the middle class.”

Actually the mandate will have no effect on anyone who already has health insurance or on anyone who can’t afford it.  The only people who will be affected are the free riders who could afford insurance but chose not to buy it relying on the rest of us to pay their bill when they go to the ER – about 1% of the population.  It’s a question of personal responsibility.

          “Promises that the law would bend the cost curve of health care and actually save money were a sham” because it is expected that “health-care spending will jump by 7.4%” when the law takes full effect.

My experience during the ten years before I became eligible for Medicare was that my group health insurance premium increased an average of 11.2% every year.  A 7.4% increase would seem to be the definition of bending the cost curve.

          An insurance industry lobbying group warned of raising costs and disrupting coverage unless major provisions of the law are addressed.

Frankly, on this issue, I couldn’t take the word of an ‘industry lobbying group’ without independent corroboration.

         Obama promised that if you wanted to keep your existing insurance you would be able to under the Affordable Care Act but that isn’t true because companies are likely to change or drop insurance coverage.

The fact is that companies were changing and dropping coverage long before ObamaCare.  What President Obama promised was that the ACA wouldn’t force anyone to change the insurance they currently have; in fact it would improve that coverage. 

          You say that some large companies will likely “dump their employees into the public-option plan.”

There is no public-option plan.

          Last on your list is the assertion that “small business employing close to 50 people will resist adding more workers, since 50 is the threshold at which the law requires them to provide health care.”

As a former small business owner I can assure you that the biggest reason employers don’t hire more people is the basic payroll expense itself.  Businesses already do everything they can to limit the number of employees.

           Then you say “in hindsight, it’s apparent that Obama’s obsession with passing the health-care overhaul . . . probably prolonged the recession.” 

But when I look back I see a turnaround in job losses beginning the month Obama took office and positive job growth for the last 27 consecutive months coupled with a Republican intransigence to go along with anything Obama suggested, including The American Jobs Act he proposed almost a year ago, because it violated their Norquist obsession to keep taxes on the wealthy at the lowest rate in history.

Finally you note that the “Affordable Care Act has been unpopular since the day it was passed” but fail to mention that when people are asked about the individual provisions of the law they overwhelmingly approve and that much of their dissatisfaction is because the law doesn’t go far enough.

You can tell us the earth is flat as much as you want.  We know the truth.

This November we will have a clear choice for President – a man who has demonstrated throughout his life that he is motivated by compassion or a man who has succeeded in life because he is motivated by greed.

David T. Girves


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