Imperfect but vital system

There is one bill which causes me to celebrate each time I pay it. It is the small health insurance premium which entitles me to an array of affordable medical care. Thanks to the Affordable Care Act, I am one of many Americans who will not likely be a drain on the national debt by having to rely on emergency rooms for health services. I have low co-pays if any at all, if I need the services of a family doctor or specialist. And there is a cap on my out-of-pocket annual expenses.

I am not gloating over this. There are far too many middle income earners who have fallen between the cracks and lack good, affordable health care. This is because the Affordable Care Act skirts over too many of us. I have heard it said that this is not an accident, but rather, this wrinkle was put there as a means of turning people against the program.

Without the ACA we would all be in a jam, growing our immense national debt, becoming sicker, passing along illness to others, and waiting too long for help, sometimes until we die from lack of care or medicine. Our system is imperfect but much better than none at all. Expanded Medicaid has made good sense for West Virginians in terms of finances and attending to health needs.

In fact, we have the beginnings of a program that protects the health and the pocketbook of individuals in need of preventive and all sorts of medical care. Truly affordable health care for us all saves tax dollars. Don’t many of us buy in bulk if we can afford it, two or even six rolls of paper towels rather than one, for the price drop? That’s what happens with Medicare in a sense–bulk purchasing. If expanded, nationalized health care would provide decent affordable services for all who want to be part of the program. It is an opportunity few should refuse, something to support, a cost saver for all.

Carrie Kline