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Letter: Obamacare Is a National Tragedy

To the Editor:

These were President Barack Obama’s words when he described the Affordable Care Act: “If you like your health insurance plan, you can keep your health insurance plan. Period. If you like your doctor, you can keep your doctor. Period. No one can take it away from you, no matter what.” In his Nov. 24 column (“With Health Care, Someone Has to Pay”), Steve Nelson says the president “misspoke, and that the “misstatements” are a “gift” to “gleeful” Republicans. Don’t believe it for a minute.

Currently, more than 5 million people have lost their health insurance plans. They’re losing their plans solely because they don’t conform to the federal mandates. It is projected that many millions more will face the same fate when the “employer mandate” becomes effective in 2015. When people look for replacement insurance, they’re finding premiums that average 41 percent more, deductibles and co-insurance costs that are running into the tens of thousands of dollars, and many doctors and many of the best hospitals excluded. It has been described as “sticker shock” — people are unable to afford what is described as affordable.

Obama has known from the start what his “signature legislation” — government-intervened health care — would lead to. If Obama had accurately described what he had in mind when he was a candidate in 2008, the likelihood is that he might not have been elected at all. If, during the 2012 campaign, Obama had accurately described what was going to happen to voters’ health care in the future, the probability of his re-election and continuation of the Affordable Care Act would have decreased dramatically. The claim of “misspeaking” is pure sophistry. It is a fairy tale unworthy of consideration.

Are these matters “gifts to gleeful Republicans”? Only if you are the most cynical observer. In fact, the events are a national tragedy, leaving people wondering what will be next for their health care needs. Even some Democrats are now calling for a delay in implementing the balance of the Affordable Care Act and are asking for changes to alleviate some of its more odious provisions.

Alan Tanenbaum

Grantham

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