Printed letters, August 8, 2012

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Mike Higgins’ ill-informed polemic (“Pace would ignore opinion of majority on health care”, August 8, 2012) confirms that local “opinion” opposing the Affordable Care Act (“ACA”) remains firmly grounded in willful ignorance of its benefits.  Thus:

First, nothing in the ACA prevents anyone from continuing to see their physician-of-choice, and its Medicaid provisions increase compensation for many such physicians.

Second, every authoritative study establishes that health insurance premiums will likely increase at a slower pace under the ACA rather than without it, as will total health care costs – particularly, as its provisions promoting primary and preventive care take effect.

Likewise, third, Higgins disingenuously ignores the Congressional Budget Office’s recent report that the ACA will actually reduce the national debt over the next ten years.

Fourth, Higgins totally misses the point as to why Grand Junction has been touted as a paradigm for health care reform – and as a viable alternative to both avaricious for-profit health insurers and to “socialized medicine”.  Because of cooperative community-wide efforts and Rocky Mountain Health Plan’s not-for-profit status, the Grand Valley enjoys lower health insurance premiums and lower overall health care costs.  By promoting not-for-profit health insurance cooperatives in state insurance exchanges, the ACA will create free market competition for commercial health insurers that will help control premiums.

Fifth, nothing in the ACA entails “health care from a centralized federal government”.  Rather, the ACA addresses the questions of who pays how much for what benefits, rather than who provides health care.  The American Hospital Association supports the ACA because – by insuring millions more – hospitals will be compensated for the health care services they already routinely provide to the uninsured.

Thus, as suggested by Bill Grant’s timely column (“Women must stand with Obama to protect their health care rights”, August 8, 2012), Sal Pace – not Scott Tipton—is responsibly leading public “opinion” toward better appreciating the ACA.

              Bill Hugenberg
              543 Rim Drive
              Grand Junction, CO 81507
Word Count = 300         257-1998

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