With mounting dismay, I read your interview with Rep. Glenn Thompson concerning the Affordable Care Act (CDT, 2/10), in which he reiterates most of his party’s disingenuous talking points about health care delivery in America. Thompson dutifully parroted the GOP myth that, without rehabilitation, Obamacare will “implode.” That is manifestly false, and I like to believe that, in his heart of hearts, Thompson knows it’s false. Yes, this flawed but noble program will surely die, but only as a function of bedrock Republican hostility to the whole idea of our government regulating an industry. Thompson also resorted to the standard GOP euphemism whereby “all Americans” are granted “access” to our health care system, which of course is not the same thing as being able to participate in the system. Why should a financially strapped citizen even try to buy insurance “across state lines” when he or she has been priced out of all the markets?
That is “access,” I suppose, but the essential problem — unaffordable premiums — remains untouched. Thompson complained that the Medicaid component of the ACA was “underfunded,” when in fact it provided the means for individual states to expand their Medicaid programs, an option that almost all Republican governors spitefully and cruelly rejected.
Finally, Thompson would have us believe the ACA was “rammed through,” when it was actually debated for many months, though Thompson and his colleagues refused to join the conversation, the GOP’s stated objective being to thwart all of President Barack Obama’s initiatives, regardless of merit.
James Morrow, State College
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