Without a better alternative, people need Obamacare

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Why have the Republicans put so much effort into trying to defund the Affordable Care Act, especially since new reports indicate that premiums nationwide will be 16 percent less than the Congressional Budget Office predicted in 2012? They are offering no alternative to the broken health care system in place in this country.

It's quite clear the current system is failing a large population of people who deserve better. Ideally, a single-payer system similar to the plan being considered and almost in place in the state of Vermont would be preferable, but it is becoming extremely evident that many in this country are falling through a growing crack in the health care delivery system.

As a health care provider, I am seeing an alarming increase in admissions of people with life-threatening conditions who are living without any type of health care coverage. Recently, I cared for a young man who, despite working two part-time jobs, lives in a homeless shelter and has never had health care coverage of any kind. Because of extremely high blood pressure and the lack of preventive care and medication, his only chance of survival is kidney dialysis and a total kidney transplant.

Shame on the United States. While being such a rich country, we waste 63 percent of our current federal budget on military interventions in countries that pose no threat to us while making military contractors billions of dollars every year. Think of how many people we could provide good health care to with all that money. Health care is a right, not a privilege.

FRANCINE PORTER, R.N.
Shaler


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