Letter: Defending a Broken System

To the Editor:

A steady stream of articles and letters repeats conservatives’ excoriations of the Affordable Care Act. “Conservative,” in the political sense, by the way, means to conserve and enhance the wealth of the few, and they accomplish this by fine-tuning the rules of the game to constantly widen the gap between the haves and the have-nots. Fighting implementation of Obamacare — I do hope this name sticks, because someday he’ll be famous for it — is only the latest round in the transfer of wealth upward.

Each attack on the ACA ignores the most important issue: Our health care system is broken, both in how poorly it delivers care and how unfairly it distributes costs.

Excoriators of Obamacare focus on implementation errors because they can’t discredit this historic effort to improve health care by making it available and affordable to a ll American s, not just the fortunate who are well employed, or the truly few who are well off.

Who wants our health care system to stay broken?

Most of all, the Republicans, who are in their fifth year of opposing every initiative to improve the lives of the American majority. The party has opposed in recent history every major economic program to help ordinary Americans, such as Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid and making taxes less regressive.

Then come insurance and pharmaceutical companies, whose lobbyists work to protect huge profits.

Helping the cause are executive “deciders”in most hospitals who support the current system because they get insanely big paychecks, bonuses and stock options for gaming the system to benefit the 1 percent who own the system’s companies. And don’t forget doctors with investments in lab and testing services that make bundles on fee-for-service referrals, many of which seem to be litigation-avoidance “care” recommended by companies that sell malpractice insurance.

There’s a circular pattern here.

And who underwrites the few who benefit from our broken health care system? Everyone else. It’s amazing that the Republicans in Congress get any more than 1 percent of the vote, because that’s the only voter segment they really work for.

Michael Whitman