The Free Press, Mankato, MN

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September 5, 2013

Move forward with Affordable Care Act

If Mr. Bob Jentges is correct about the many polls showing lack of support for Obamacare, it is due in no small part to the orchestrated misinformation, obfuscation and outright lies propagated by the Republican Party. “Death squads,” “job killer,” and “federal takeover” were all debunked in fact checkers, but polls still prove that lies repeated often and loudly will fool a significant portion of the population, including, it appears, Mr. Jentges.

What is the rationale for separating the fiscal responsibility of Obamacare from the rest of the federal budget? The Affordable Care Act was passed by Congress, signed by the president, and upheld by the Supreme Court. You might think we should be working together to find the best way to implement this bill and correct the deficiencies as they arise.

No one believes that this law is a perfect fix for our broken health care system. Such a bill doesn’t exist. Solving a problem of this magnitude demands a bold start with a firm commitment to achieve its goals, no matter what. In this case, Obamacare is designed to make health care available and affordable for more of our citizens using private sector insurance.

Ironically, this idea was first put forward by Republicans in 1989. Many prominent Republicans including President George H.W. Bush, Newt Gingrich, and even Rick Santorum gave their support. And have you forgotten that Romneycare was the prototype for the Affordable Care Act? Without a viable plan of their own, the Republican House has voted 40 times to repeal Obamacare. Well now, that certainly fits Einstein’s definition of insanity, as I see it.

There is no compelling reason to separate Obamacare from the rest of the budget. With the passage of this bill by Congress together with its affirmation by the Supreme Court, we, the people, have decided that Health Care is a right rather than a privilege. Our challenge now is to make it real and to find a way to pay for it, not obstruct it.

Finally, blaming any government shutdown on President Obama for refusal to compromise certainly fits the definition of chutzpah!

William Shores, M.D.

St. Peter

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