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News Opinion Readers Respond

'Obamacare' was Mitt Romney's idea first — and it's still a good one

Regarding columnist Robert L. Ehrlich Jr.'s commentary on the Supreme Court's decision to uphold the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, it's worth noting the success of the Healthcare for All law enacted by Mitt Romney when he was governor of Massachusetts ("Constitutional — but contemptible," July 8).

With 98.1 percent of its citizens covered, Massachusetts has the highest rate of medically insured residents in the nation. And due to preventive care for patients with preexisting conditions such as high blood pressure and diabetes, there are fewer emergency room visits by patients who were using emergency care for routine matters.

Prenatal care has led to healthier births that offset expensive long-term care for infants, toddlers and young children. And the plan has increased the number of small business offering health insurance.

Mr. Romney's own website lists the successful aspects of Massachusetts health reform law. The goal of President Obama's health care plan is the same: To provide affordable access to health care for everyone.

Whether noncompliance is labeled a penalty or a tax is a moot point. The phased-in 1 percent to 2 percent penalty on taxable income will only affect about 3 percent of the population, all of whom are currently uninsured.

Undoubtedly there will be problems, as there have been with any major piece of legislation. They will be addressed as time goes on. But finally our broken, unfair and unbalanced current health care system is being overhauled. I was never more proud than the day that the health care bill was passed and signed into law.

Much as I hate calling it by anything other than its correct name, the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, from now on when I hear someone referring to it as "Obamacare" I will simply rephrase it in my mind as "Obama cares."

Bonita Bolyard Foose

Copyright © 2014, The Baltimore Sun
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