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On health care, President Obama put his faith in a house of cards [Letter]

President Obama is reaping what he sowed by relying on the health insurance industry when he promoted the Affordable Care Act ("As president grovels, politics of Obamacare get worse," Nov. 19).

The health insurers literally wrote the law, in the person of Liz Fowler, a former vice president at WellPoint, and they clearly know Obamacare better than the president, whose ill-fated promise about keeping your health insurance if you are happy with it blew up in his face.

But the reality is that the American public never wanted their favorite health insurance plan. What they want is affordable, accessible health care. In fact, a majority of Americans want a government-funded health-care system similar to traditional Medicare.

The complexity of the Affordable Care Act undoubtedly contributed to its difficult launch. But the real weakness of the law is that once you have health insurance you still are not protected from bankruptcy due to illness, nor are you guaranteed access to the doctor and hospital of your choice.

We need a humane health-care system, not a profit-driven one. In a rich country like America, health care should be a right, not a privilege.

If we expanded traditional Medicare to cover everyone, there would be no need to figure out if you can afford a bronze, silver, gold or platinum plan; instead there'd be one standard of care for everyone.

Dr. Eric Naumburg

The writer is co-chair of the Maryland Chapter of Physicians for a National Health Plan.

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Copyright © 2014, The Baltimore Sun
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