Affordable health care means just that: health care we can afford, not health care that's provided to us at no cost. Unfortunately, the vehement anti-Obamacare opponents on the right are pushing lies, and the news dee jays need to diligently call them out. The letters below refer to one case that is being exploited.
Like Barbara Garnaus did, there are Americans out there who become ill and then complain that they have to pay for health services. But some of the most vocal critics fail to put their stories into context. Garnaus, a cancer patient, wasn't covered at all. Obviously (at least to most people), the Affordable Health Care Act says you still have to pay for services, but in most cases, you get more bang for your buck.
It also means that some people are struggling to make payments because they are unable to earn enough money to afford much of anything in the first place. Increasing the minimum wage would help rectify the problem.
And with that, here are today's Los Angeles Times letters to the editor, because our voices matter:
The headline on this article is very misleading. The impression given is that Obamacare places an undue burden on low-income citizens.
This story is about someone — 63-year-old Barbara Garnaus — who went for years without any insurance, relying on good health and free clinics. Now she has cancer and has bought insurance under Obamacare.
Before healthcare reform, she probably would not have been able to obtain insurance at all after the cancer was diagnosed.
So yes, her $13.50 monthly premium is more than she paid when she had no insurance and was in good health, but it's a lot less than it would cost for the same healthcare without insurance, which is where she would have been without Obamacare.
Sure, paying premiums costs more than not paying them, but healthcare with insurance costs a lot less than healthcare without insurance.
A $13.50 monthly payment for health insurance is amazingly low. The Times should applaud the program that allows a person who could never afford healthcare to receive medical treatment for cancer.
The cost of healthcare under the Affordable Care Act isn't the source of Garnaus' troubles. Rather, she is struggling to pay for healthcare because of her extremely low salary.
Until hardworking Americans like Garnaus receive wages that allow them to pay for a place to live, housing, transportation and, yes, healthcare, they will struggle as she does.
But don't blame the Affordable Care Act — it has brought affordable healthcare to millions of previously uninsured Americans.