Letter to the editor: Necessity of health care

Sue Ravenscroft

According to the American Journal of Public Health, approximately 45,000 people between 18 and 64 years of age died in 2005 (a typical year before health care reform) because of lack of health insurance. Yes, people die in this country when they do not have medical care and have no way of getting it. We pay a greater percentage of our gross domestic product for medical care than any other developed country; we pay far more for the same prescription drugs than people in other countries do, and the World Health Organization evaluated our health system as 37th in the world, quite a way from the top.

So what are congressional Republicans doing to help make our country’s health care better? They are voting repeatedly to repeal the Affordable Care Act, a bill that represents the only major effort to improve health care, control costs and expand coverage that Congress has passed in decades. Additionally, they are threatening again to shut down the government because the bill was passed.

But if they are so unhappy with the bill, what are congressional Republicans proposing in order to prevent those 45,000 deaths each year? In a word, nothing.

Instead of wasting taxpayers’ money (they do get paid even when they do nothing) and their and our time with these repeated, meaningless votes, the congressional Republicans should help the country implement the bill, make improvements where needed or propose a better alternative.