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My Turn: Burn your Obamacare card? Really?

Winston Churchill once said, “Healthy citizens are the greatest asset any country can have.” He also said, “You can always count on Americans to do the right thing – after they’ve tried everything else.” These two remarks reflect our national situation with health care.

Health care is not a luxury; it is a necessity. If you don’t have your health, then nothing else really matters. With poor health, you cannot enjoy any of the freedoms we champion as Americans. Freedom to worship, gun ownership, abortion/life, free speech and family become meaningless without health. Dr. Benjamin Rush, one of the original signers of the Declaration of Independence, said that health care should have been one of the rights placed in the Constitution.

Compare that with our national debate over health care. The Republican-led House of Representatives voted 41 times to repeal the Affordable Care Act, offering nothing to replace it. Tea Party conservatives say they are willing to shut down the government to get rid of Obamacare. This effort is doomed to failure not only because of the Democratic control of the Senate and White House, but because our health care system is so bad that it makes Obamacare look like a good alternative.

The attack on the ACA is foolishly misplaced. Detractors are fabricating malicious fairy tales in an effort to scare people against it. A good example is the campaign launched by the conservative group, FreedomWorks, to “burn your ObamaCare card.” The purpose of the campaign is to encourage Americans, especially those in the 20 to 40 age group, to reject insurance coverage under the Affordable Care Act. This would defund the ACA via the private insurance exchanges.

Obamacare cards are a fraud. There are no such legal entities. The FreedomWorks group is actually issuing Obamacare cards for the symbolic purpose of burning them.

The fairy tale approach against the ACA is shortsighted and dangerous. It is designed to take our eyes away from the true problem of a bloated health care system that doesn’t cover one-sixth of our population, inadequately covers half the population that does have private insurance, poorly addresses preventive care and worst of all, we can’t afford it. The problem isn’t Obamavare; it’s our health care system in general.

Detractors shouldn’t have to spin fairy tales to find fault with the ACA. There are plenty of quirks and loopholes that need to be addressed. But that would mean refining the ACA, which doesn’t sit well with detractors either for partisan reasons or for financial reasons.

Here in New Hampshire, only Anthem has agreed to work the insurance exchanges under the ACA. This monopoly has enabled it to dictate health care on its terms, excluding some hospitals such as Concord Hospital, Frisbie Memorial and Portsmouth Regional from its network. Anthem’s public explanation cites a 30 percent reduction in insurance premiums, but its recent history with Exeter Hospital suggests that its true goal is to leverage ACA access with hospital contract negotiations.

To function, the ACA relies on private businesses, and that is where it is flawed. The purpose of government and the ACA is to decrease the rise in health care costs and to improve health care access, which often conflicts with the goal of businesses to maximize profits. If we really want to improve the health of our citizens, our greatest asset according to Churchill, then we need to stop dickering about ObamaCare, do the right thing and fix our failing health care system.

(Dr. James Fieseher is a family physician in Portsmouth.)

Legacy Comments10

Britain's National Institute of Health - the model for the liberals - is the 3rd largest employer in the world just behind India's Railroad and China's military. Britain is 1/5 the size of the USA - anybody got an idea where the democrats taking over 1/6th of the American Economy will lead us?

No it isn't. The poster is wrong--as usual, guilty of posting distorted information that conveys a misleading impression. The NHS is large: depending on the source, it might be the 5th, 6th, 7th, or 8th largest employer. But that number of employees is misleading since, strictly speaking, the NHS does not operate as a single employer: "Many staff are employed by individual hospital trusts and primary care trusts, while GP surgeries, for example, are run and owned by one or more partners who are contracted to provide general NHS medical services."

Talk about fabricating malicious fairy tales. What ever happened to you can keep your own doctor. How about the lie that it was going to save families $2,500 per year how about the laugher that if you like your insurance you can keep it. Lets gets things straight Obama and the democrats will shut down the government if they can't shove ObamaKare down America's throats. Obama and the democrats promote the lie that you can't reverse bad law. Bad law have been stopped through out American history in many different ways. ObamaKare is bad law and we need to vote out people like Shaheen, Kuster, Shea-Porter and Hassen who want to shove it down our throats.

In another context, this is exactly the sort of post which led Popular Science to shut down its comments section. A repeated and repeated and repeated and repeated again series of non-facts when facts matter. The contrast between Dr. Fieseher's column and Van's reply couldn't make my point any clearer, could it? I can't see the point anymore, so for me it's farewell to the online Monitor. Good-bye to The Usual Suspects. Enjoy your echo chamber.

Pease don't go. We can't let the Usual Suspects keep on spouting their lies with out any intellectual rebuttal.

Gracchus, I understand and share your frustration, but hope you'll reconsider. Without rational voices like yours, and the already departed (come back Earthling!), this site continually risks being over-run by trolls. So, a modest proposal to posters: Stop feeding the trolls. This is advice given on other sites that might work better than the often fruitless waste of time that responses to the trolls engender. Post as if they don't exist, with accurate, thoughtful, comments, and leave the Carp Per Diem brigade alone to spout their venomous nonsense in their own little world. Respond to their distortions of fact as necessary, but not to them.

Rational voices, trolls, venomous nonsense (AKA the truth). The truth to liberals is like sunshine to a vampire. Let the sunshine in the liberals fear you.

Draft of a Field Guide to Trolling Behavior-- posts characterized by one or more of the following: name-calling or ad hominem attacks; reliance on cherry-picked facts; repetition of false or distorted claims; straw man construction; off-topic posts; absent or limited follow-up posts, usually with one or more of the traits above.

Boy Bruce, did you hit the nail on the head! I also miss Honest Abe and Driver, and many more as well. gracchus, we'll miss your daily perspectives and we need folks to police the conservative nay sayers on here.

Bye, enjoy your fairy tale land where liberals love being lied to. I don't like to be lied to. I knew the Obama echo chamber of repeated speech after repeated speech telling us lie after lie that we would be able to keep our doctor, or we would be able to keep our health insurance and that our health insurance will drop $2500. My family is already a victim of ObamaKare so I know the consciousness of liberal lies.

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