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Letter to the editor: U.S. should talk about solving ACA problems

Political disagreement is part of our democracy, but the inaccurate rhetoric concerning the Affordable Care Act has surpassed my tolerance capacity. Searching through the letter from Bernice Suko in the Jamestown Sun on March 17, it is hard to find a single accurate statement.

It is often argued that the ACA was unnecessary because 85 percent of us already had health insurance. That, however, means that more than 1 in 7 of us do not.

All the talk about socialized medicine and a government takeover of our health system is false. The ACA deals with insurance, and the insurance providers continue to be private companies. The ACA does not say anything about you and your doctor. As for waiting for services, we are already doing that in case some have not noticed. And there already are those who decide what services we will get. They are called insurance companies.

Canadians are not flocking to the U.S. for health care. Because the population of Canada is only a fraction of that in the U.S., they may not have access to some specialized procedures and tests that are only available at places like the Mayo Clinic. Also, I see a lot of Canadian license plates on the streets in Arizona in the winter. I guess they are there for the same reason as North Dakotans. And since most of them are older folks, they probably use the health services there. I have had a chance to hear from several Canadians about their health system, and none said they wished they had our system. On the contrary, I know several U.S. citizens who have gone to Canada for things like laser eye surgery because it is much less expensive there.

Many surveys have shown that Americans are not the healthiest people in the world, and we pay the highest price for our care. My main complaint about the ACA is that it does not deal with those two issues. But it is a long-awaited start, so let’s talk about solving those problems.