We have a moral obligation to help the suffering

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Letter writer Don Opacic (“A Mess for Millions,” Nov. 24) posed a question to the readers that asked, “Some 30 million uninsured people are to be granted health benefits. How do the hospitals, doctors, nurses and nursing homes handle that load?”

I had a visceral response when I read this question, but after calming down, I’ll try to answer it civilly. Fifty percent of Americans are already covered by either Medicare, Medicaid, VA health care or receive benefits because they work for the government, i.e., they’re teachers or municipal, state or federal workers, etc. Other folks get their benefits through work. Aside from worker’s compensation (poor person’s insurance), that leaves the rest of us to find our own health insurance. Some of us can afford to purchase reasonable insurance for a high price and some of us, i.e., the working poor, those with a pre-existing condition and the unemployed, cannot afford insurance.

So as to the 30 million, are we to just ignore them and let them keep their illnesses to themselves? Heaven forbid if they have to seek medical attention and get in the way of the people who have insurance. I suppose Mr. Opacic would just as well let those 30 million just “suck it up” when they get ill — or just stay at home and die because they put an undue strain on our system. Personally, I feel we have a moral obligation to our fellow humans when they are in need or are suffering.

Is the Affordable Care Act the best answer? Perhaps no. But it certainly is a step in the right direction. And, not to worry, I haven’t heard of anybody being turned down for treatment when they are ill (they might go into bankruptcy and lose their home or other assets to receive part of the care they need). So they were already in the system, using the back door. Now with ACA, they can use the front door.


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