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The sky is falling

Letter to the Editor

February 8, 2017
Fort Myers Beach Bulletin, Fort Myers Beach Observer

The sky is falling

To the Editor:

In his guest commentary of Feb. 1, U.S. Congressman Rooney starts with the typical bashing of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) - failures, the mess, system in shambles. That is always followed by presenting a range of unfounded fears, cherry-picked information and false accusations. Let me present a few facts to consider:

Over 20 million people have ACA healthcare and many are scared to death of repeal. The largest gains are from minority groups. Women are especially helped and they now pay the same premium as men. The GROWTH of healthcare cost has been reduced. Further cost reduction could occur if the government were allowed to negotiate prescription drug costs with the drug companies but that is opposed by Republicans and the pharmaceutical companies.

ACA has worked much better in half the states that embraced it. States like Florida erected barriers to enrollment and failed to take care of its most vulnerable citizens by not adding 800,000 to Medicaid with little cost to the state. States that did not embrace ACA now have poorer and sicker people and more people that are against ACA.

A full repeal of ACA would eliminate Medicare benefits created by the law. ACA improved Medicare's financial outlook by slowing the growth of spending and clamped down on fraud, waste and excessive payments. It also enabled tens of millions of Medicare beneficiaries to get free preventive services (the best way to control healthcare costs) and saved billions of dollars with the gradual closing of the doughnut hole.

I would certainly agree that the ACA can be improved and look forward to those improvements. "Most importantly, Congress must ensure that constituents are fully informed of all changes, how their lives will be impacted" and the real costs to the country and all of its people.

Gerry Trantina

Fort Myers Beach



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