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Per Jennifer Rubin's Op-Ed piece in The Washington Post (and re-printed in the Carroll County Times on June 29), I am offering my opinion on the draft Senate Health Care Bill. First, I am a lifelong Republican starting when I turned of age to vote. I still agree with most of their basic philosophies and admit openly I am often a very frugal and conservative guy.

The replace and repeal of Obamacare has become a holy war that has become an albatross around the neck of Republicans. I am a scientist and engineer with some experience in the health care field and can't make heads or tails of the current draft Republican health care proposal. All I know for sure is that a lot more poorer and underprivileged folks will lose health care. This potential blow will hit hard as costs for health care is a rising factor in older and retired folks.

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The current effort and meetings with Republican senators is akin to Nero asking musicians which score to fiddle to while Rome burns to the ground.

I volunteer to assist in fundraising for Access Carroll, which relies on Medicaid funding for much of their existence. At a recent meeting where Executive Director Tammy Black attended, I could read her face and knew she was deeply troubled. Her concerns were forcefully articulated in an article in the Sunday, June 25, Times.

Partisanship was not covered in our Constitution and became an outcome after the fact. For perspective, I served for 24 years in a nonpartisan elected office as Mount Airy town councilman and briefly as mayor. As a federal employee, I could not become involved in any partisanship. All I can say is that nonpartisanship works quite well.

Did we agree as a Democrat or Republican to put a man on the moon? Did we agree to go to war with Japan in 1941 on a partisan basis? Certainly, health care is just as important as the Apollo program and probably almost as important as declaring war. Its coverage, costs and scope affects all Americans in coverage, health care premiums, and inevitably how we end our life on earth. It is literally a life-and-death decision, although it requires a fair amount of effort to see how.

It would be a nice feather in President Trump's cap and a nice merit badge for Sen. Mitch McConnell if they were able to jam through a troubling and likely much more flawed law than the problem they are trying to fix. Bully!

It would likely take half a generation before we come to understand the life-shortening effects and financial burden to the least able to pay for this great effort.

One thing crystal clear is that President Trump and all of his "Billionaire's Club" cabinet will continue to receive the best of medical care there is. Most Congressional folks will get first-rate health care. As a retired federal worker (enrolled in Federal Blue Cross) I probably will get pretty good coverage.

Inevitably, some tradeoffs and cutoffs will be necessary. The decision to drop the atomic bomb to end the war with Japan required hard tradeoffs in deaths saved — one could argue with the methodology used to predict American soldier casualties — versus the morality of entering the atomic warfare age. Most folks weighed in as Americans and moralists, albeit after the fact.

The Affordable Care Act almost certainly increased life expectancy for those less able to get health coverage and generally worked in getting everybody covered since its inception. It did not receive a single Republican vote. But, warts and all, it has worked reasonably well since it was enacted. There is considerable evidence that the Republican-controlled government has sabotaged existing insurance coverage of the Affordable Care Act and falsely label it a failure.

But, once the privilege of health care is provided, it would be unconscionable to take it away, and have us all pay a price to some extent until it is understood by those signing it — and that is the case — and gaining at least a semblance of bipartisan consensus.

Dave Pyatt writes from Mount Airy.



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