Supreme Court ruling is a threat to Americans’ freedom of choice

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July 5, 2012

Grand Junction Daily Sentinel
734 South 7th Street
Grand Junction, CO 81501

Dear Editors:

  Rick Wagner’s latest offering – “Supreme Court ruling is a threat to American’s freedom of choice” (July 5, 2012) – reflects Republicans’ continuing consternation over Chief Justice Roberts’ anomalous “change-of-heart” in upholding “Obamacare”.

  “Obamacare” enacts recommendations originating from the Heritage Institute – a “conservative” think tank – which were embraced by Republican’s beginning in 1992, and were implemented as Massachusetts’ “Romney Care” in 2006.

  In 2009, President Obama eschewed progressives’ demands for a “public option” (“Medicare for all”) and advocated the Republican approach to health care reform – hoping for bipartisan support.  No Republicans voted for “Oromney Care”.

  Republican policy prescriptions included an “individual mandate” administered through the tax code and an increase in the Medicaid eligibility standard to 133% of the poverty level.  As a result, today almost 100% of Massachusetts’ children and 98% of its population are covered by health insurance.  “Oromney Care” seeks to achieve similar results on a national scale – even without Republican support.

  Meanwhile, a recent poll showed that 41% of Americans don’t even know yet that the Supreme Court last Thursday upheld the constitutionality of the “individual mandate”—much less that Medicaid eligibility expansion was declared “optional” for the States.

  While 85% of Americans are currently covered by some form of health insurance, some 55 million Americans are not.  “Obamacare” improves the reliability of existing   insurance policies by prohibiting the “sharp practices” engendered by the “profit motive”.

  “Obamacare” thereby eliminated some 1300 “death panels” financed by private insurers, but 20+ Republican governors are now taking on that role – proclaiming that they will not opt for Medicaid expansion or implement state “insurance exchanges”.

  “Obamacare” hopes to extend health insurance coverage to some 30 million more Americans, while the Republicans’ Romney-endorsed “Ryan Budget” reaches 3 million.

  No wonder pseudo-“conservatives” like Wagner seem haplessly confused – equating their own policies to “serfdom”.

              Bill Hugenberg (257-1998)
Word Count = 300         543 Rim Drive, GJ 81507

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