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Monday, April 24, 2017

More jewels - letters to the editor about health care showing up like diamond dust

It's become a hobby of mine to search out letters to the editors in newspapers published in states like Tenneseee, Kentucky and West Virginia. In fact, I'm driven to do this because it's impossible for me to believe the good and thoughtful people who live in these states are a monolith of right wing nuts. Surely, there is hope for the human condition when brave citizens are able to write thoughtful "letters to the editor", in their favorite newspapers, as reminders about how "hope springs eternal" for those of us who pray for Americans to find their way back to a progressive agenda. Perhaps the health care insurance coverage is one path to finding our beacon of reason?
Here is just such a thoughtful letter published in the West Virginia Charleston Gazette-Journal (a Pulitzer Prize winning newspaper):

Letter: Health care is not an ‘issue,’ it’s a need all people have

Olga Gioulis, SuttonWV

Image result for Health care logo
Some in our community do not fully know what the Affordable Care Act, also called Obamacare, has done for the citizens of West Virginia.

The ACA has helped 175,000 West Virginians obtain health care and brought in millions in federal funding that pay for these benefits. Benefits include disregarding pre-existing conditions such as cancer, rheumatoid arthritis, lupus, etc insuring children until age 26, reasonable deductibles and subsidies to help low income workers pay for their premiums.

Expanded Medicaid and subsidies for private insurance give low-income working people the opportunity to have health care. Even though employed, many could not afford the premiums each month. The expansion helped those addicted to opioids who had no way to pay for treatment and went without. The most significant source of coverage for the substance abuse epidemic we have been experiencing is through Medicaid expansion.

Hospitals can now get paid for the services that they had to “eat” before. More health care workers were hired who would be at risk for job loss without the ACA. Women received better family planning options, cancer screening and prenatal care.

Health care is not a Republican or Democratic issue, not a liberal or conservative position. It is a need that all people have. In 1935, President Franklin Roosevelt signed Social Security benefits into law so that millions of retired Americans could have a basic income. In 1965, President Lyndon B. Johnson did the same for Medicare so millions of retirees were guaranteed health care.

Not until 2010, when President Barack Obama signed the Affordable Care Act, did the rest of U.S. citizens finally have health care. Most advanced nations have had universal health care for many years, even those from poorer countries.

Most people will agree that the ACA can be improved on in order to bring down premium prices, improve the high cost of drugs and fix other issues. But this can be done without losing the coverage so recently granted. I hope this information helps all of us think about this important issue. 


Let your representatives hear from you now.

Olga Gioulis,  Sutton

(MaineWriter- Thank You Olga! Your letter is among my LTE "jewels".)


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