Gabrielle Giffords was threatened by many and finally shot by one because she voted for a health-care reform that we badly needed. Of course, it does not make any sense, but few things seem to make sense in our country anymore. You have to be living in a comfortable cocoon if you are not aware of people going into bankruptcy or selling their homes in order to pay for catastrophic medical treatments, or even committing suicide. A recent report from Harvard estimated that 2,266 veterans from Iraq and Afghanistan died in 2008 because they could not afford health insurance.
The health-care reform passed last year is far from being perfect—I too wanted a single payer—but it significantly improves on what we had before. It creates a competitive insurance market and provides subsidies to low-income families buying insurance on their own. It prevents insurers from raising premiums by double digits (as we saw it happening last year), requires them to spend at least 80 percent of premium dollars on health care (not on CEO bonuses), and prohibits them from denying coverage to children born with disabilities. And—contrary to what Republican Congress members are saying ad nauseum—according to the CBO (Congress Budget Office), it could save us as much as $1.2 trillion over the next 20 years. In most cases, the CBO’s findings are honored by both Democrats and Republicans, so why are Republicans, in this case, denying the facts given to them? And why are they again wasting our time and our money in order to repeal a reform meant to help the working class, the middle class, and small businesses?
You owe it to yourself and to your family to turn your back on propaganda and, instead, to read serious reports written by the medical community worldwide and other trustworthy sources. The United States, wealthiest country in the world, is ranked 37 in health care. No one should meekly accept this shocking situation.
-- Odile Ayral - San Luis Obispo