Letter: T. Sullivan, Philomont

Editor:  I’m gratified the healthcare debate is alive and well, splashed against the backdrop of the July 4th holiday—when we stand as one, as equals, celebrating accomplishments and values. M.B. Crenshaw’s letter made me ask, “How do the Republican Houses and the White House, measure on the patriotic scale, determined as they are, to destroy the ACA (Obamacare) regardless of how many vulnerable citizens are affected?” Is it sincere and patriotic that Republicans have been whining for seven years about replacing the ACA, but are only now working on it and trying to rush them through?

The ACA (Obamacare) is actually getting more popular among our citizens, but the confidence of insurance companies such as AETNA to stick with the exchanges, is being destroyed by an administration hostile to cooperation, jeopardizing the agreed upon government subsidies, and any option of adjustments to participation later. It’s what you call a self-fulfilling prophecy, folks. Destroy through any means possible, and it will be a failure.

The Republican bill proposes cost-shifting rather than cost-cutting as David Cutler, applied economist at Harvard says, where “healthy people pay less when they do not have to pool with the sick, but sick people pay more. Premiums fall when coverage is allowed to be less generous, but out-of-pocket costs rise. Federal spending declines when Medicaid is cut, but states or private payers have to pick up the tab.” Mr. Cutler’s comprehensive article on steps to reduce healthcare spending yet provide a path to universal coverage, would please both sides of the aisle.

To the point, other countries with universal health reform, have proven that cost control takes place after coverage is made universal, not before. Canada spent the same share of its GDP on health care as the USA did until it implemented universal insurance coverage. After that, the trends diverged. Same goes for Massachusetts.

I hope our leaders will not continue to embody a callous disregard for our well-being and get to work on a plan that’s fair to all.

T. Sullivan, Philomont

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