To the editor:
By now you've heard that SCOTUS upheld most of the president's historic health care reform achievement, the Affordable Care Act. You've probably been confused by conflicting things you've heard about the bill and what it means for America. Republicans opposing change have told some outright lies or misrepresentations so extreme they may as well be outright lies. For example, they've called it socialism, a government takeover and they've said the bill includes "death panels" and that it mandates implantable RFID micro-chips in all Americans. Ironically, they've done this while criticizing Nancy Pelosi for supposedly passing the bill without first reading it when all one has to do to see that their claims are false is read the bill.
Personally, I wish to thank justices Ginsburg, Kagan, Sotomayor and Breyer; and I especially want to thank Chief Justice Roberts for voting based on the law's merits, and not based on ideology or party loyalty. It's unfortunate the same cannot be said for the four dissenting justices. The reason I want to thank them is twofold. I want to thank them for the great thing they did for our nation, assuring that we're no longer the sole western power without a comprehensive health care law designed to benefit all citizens; and I want to thank them for what they've done specifically for people I love.
I have an 11-year-old niece with cystic fibrosis. One CF medication alone, Klydeco, costs $18,000 a month. She would've been bumped from my brother's insurance plan in a few years if not for this law only to find herself uninsurable because of her pre-existing condition. Thanks to the ACA, neither of those are now a factor.
My girlfriend just turned 56. She has lupus and has had uterine and other cancers in the past, but when she divorced she lost her insurance and has been unable to afford to get new insurance because her conditions make it cost-prohibitive. However, due to the tax incentives and Medicare expansion we will soon realize, thanks to AFA, she will be able to get treatment and screenings and all of the care she'll eventually need, and I'll no longer have to fear that she'll simply suffer an indignant and gradual decline without care.
My 82-year-old diabetic mother will see nearly $600 in additional help each year when she enters the "doughnut hole." My 25-year-old son will get a tax deduction for simply having the insurance he needs to treat his asthma.
Yet it's not just about my family. This bill will drive cost reductions for all Americans as we no longer subsidize the uninsured; productivity will increase as we become a healthier nation; and best of all, the ACA will mean 19 million Americans will see tax savings of up to $4,800 per year. So on behalf of my niece, my girlfriend, my mother, my son, myself and my nation - thank you, Chief Justice. I'd wish a pox on the dissenting four, but they already had good health insurance.
J. David Core