8:15 AM EDT, May 29, 2013
There's a great deal of misinformation and misunderstanding about the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, also known as Obamacare. After a hundred years of failed attempts, health insurance reform became the law of the land three years ago, and its purpose is to save lives, reduce cost inflation and provide affordable health insurance protection for all Americans.
The ACA hasn't been fully implemented yet, but these facts are in: More than 3 million young adults can now get health insurance through their parents' policies; seniors saved over $6 billion on their prescriptions; health insurers are now required to provide free preventive care without co-pays or deductibles; and Americans with "preexisting conditions" can no longer be denied health insurance protection, among other things.
In spite of the misrepresentations and demagoguery by politicians, health care cost inflation has been reduced due to ACA legal requirements and efficiencies. Columnist Tom Friedman and others point out that the shift to electronic records and other improvements has already improved care for patients and significantly lowered costs.
Yet the U.S. House of Representatives, which has accomplished virtually nothing in years, recently voted to repeal ACA — for the 37th time! Meanwhile, Senate Republican leaders are refusing to allow the normal clarifications and technical corrections to ACA that every major piece of legislation requires.
These mindless acts of obstructionism are designed to appease the extremist minority within the minority party and help its politicians win primary elections. These elected officials are doing nothing to benefit their country, to reflect the needs of the majority, to save lives, save money or improve the quality of health care.
Roger C. Kostmayer, Baltimore
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