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Welcome to The Seattle Times' online letters to the editor, a sampling of readers' opinions. Join the conversation by commenting on these letters or send your own letter of up to 200 words letters@seattletimes.com.

July 4, 2012 at 4:00 PM

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Obama's health-care bill approved by the Supreme Court

The new approach to health care works

David Brooks, in his column [“The audacity of John Roberts,” Opinion, July 1], discusses various approaches to funding our health-care system, and concludes, “But the truth is neither I nor anybody else really knows what works.”

Are you kidding? Hundreds of millions of people know exactly what works! The citizens of Canada, England, France, Germany and virtually every other developed country in the world could tell. Brooks, and our own politicians, that a single-payer, nonprofit, government-operated health-insurance system would dramatically decrease cost, increase access and remove the fear that every American, whether they have health insurance or not, lives with daily — fear that they may face financial ruin if they get sick or injured. Why are we trying to reinvent the wheel while the rest of the world is rolling along in hyper speed?

Let’s be honest.; we all know that the problem with our health-care system is the private insurance companies — which are so wealthy, so powerful and have purchased so many members of our Congress — that they maintain a stranglehold on our system.

If those believers in the free-market system are so confident in private solutions, as. Brooks seems to be, why not provide a nonprofit public option and let it compete in the free market?

What are they afraid of? (As if we didn’t know.)

— Dan Salins, Seattle

A misleading front-page article

The article by David Savage that you published June 29 [“Defining decision,” page one] as your lead article on the Supreme Court’s health-care ruling contained a disturbing falsehood.

The author in the third paragraph states that the Affordable Care Act requires that “everybody buy health insurance.” This is false.

The act has no such requirement; it is the goal of the act that everyone have health insurance, but no one is compelled to buy it. A 25-year-old adult who can be covered on her parent’s health insurance need not buy anything. A union worker who is given a full health-care benefits under a contract doesn’t have to buy anything. Do you understand the flaw in the statement you published?

This misrepresentation of the act unfortunately plays into the widespread public misconception that scores of millions of people who already have health insurance will have to drop their coverage and buy some other government-vetted “product.” This is of course nonsense, vigorously propagated by Republicans, but it is widely believed. Savage’s article only exacerbates this misconception and feeds into the right-wing disinformation machine.

— Paul Cabarga, Seattle

Personal responsibility

In reference to The Times editorial [“Forget talk of repeal; focus on care, costs,”Opinion, June 29] I agree, but the editorial completely missed one very important point that the politicians always miss, i.e., personal responsibility.

When will one of our leaders from D.C. (or locally) come before us and tell us the whole truth about health-care costs? These costs could be reduced dramatically if each of us would take responsibility for good health by eating good food and exercising.

We are a very overweight society, which drives up health-care costs. It has been reported that Medicare costs could be reduced by one-third if we eliminated obesity.

I agree our leaders can’t dictate our habits, but they can at least identify and talk about what each of us can and should do to improve personal health and thereby reduce health-care costs.

— Don McConaghy, Kirkland

ACA needs to be repealed ASAP

Given the result of the Supreme Court upholding Obama’s health-care law, it is clear that what needs to happen is getting Congress to repeal it ASAP because it is going to cost far more than we were led to believe.

In fact, nobody in Congress even read the thing before voting on it and so those who voted on it, did so blindly without knowing what was in it and some have admitted they now regret having voted in favor of it. We need to make sure this happens and we need to make Obama a one-term president as we cannot take another four years of his policies and huge growth in the federal government.

I personally will be voting for Mitt Romney as it looks like he will be the Republican nominee, though I would vote for whoever the Republican nominee is. We need to put pressure on the political leaders on this issue, and people need to avoid the mistake of continuing to support Obama.

Also, the IRS will be involved in the management of Obama’s health-care law and that is just one of many reasons why it must be repealed; the Supreme Court said it is a tax and we don’t need to be paying more taxes.

Join in the effort to repeal this misguided law that will limit medical care, and will also affect small employers who will have to provide medical insurance if they have 50 or more employees; and also to replace Obama as president and put pressure on the politicians to act on this.

— Patrick Switzer, Lynnwood

Excited for what’s next

The Seattle Times editorial board made the right call in urging our state and the nation to move forward with reform after the U.S. Supreme Court upheld the federal health-care law [“Forget talk of repeal; focus on care, costs,” Opinion, June 29].

Now that health-care coverage is within reach for hundreds of thousands of uninsured low-income people in Washington and millions of other Americans, we should spend our energy on ensuring services will be available.

The great news is that Washington’s nonprofit community-health centers have already begun building capacity to serve those who will be newly insured in 2014. These clinics form the largest primary-care network in our state. By providing quality primary and preventive care, health centers not only improve health outcomes for patients, but help keep costs down. They do this by helping patients keep a handle on potentially debilitating chronic conditions and preventing minor issues from becoming major health crises.

I’m personally excited for what lies ahead in improving the health and quality of life of our communities.

— Vicki Hammond, Renton


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