Call it ‘ObamaCares’

By Gustavo S. Montana, M.D.
The Herald-Sun (Durham, N.C.), Letters, May 2, 2012

The Accountable Care Act (ACA) has drawn more attention now that the Supreme Court is about to decide its fate.

The critics of ACA often refer to it as ObamaCare. Objections to the act are directed to the entire legislation or to specific issues that the legislation addresses. The critics of ACA do not offer solutions to any of the problems that this legislation addresses.

Mr. Romney, among the critics, advocates the abolition of ACA but he neglects to acknowledge that the Massachusetts Health Plan, which he enacted as governor, shares similarities with ACA, thus Mr. Romney should also advocate the abolition of the Massachusetts plan.

While we wait for the Supreme Court decision, we should honestly evaluate alternatives to ACA like a national or state-by-state single-payer system(s) with the option to obtain medical services of questionable or unproven benefit through private insurance. The reduction in administrative cost of a single-payer system lowers the cost of health care and frees financial and human resources that can be invested in education, research and other sectors of the economy.

When President Obama pursued health care reform, he intended to make the system fair and accessible to most of the people in this country. His effort fell short not by his lack of conviction and understanding of the issues but by a political system aligned with other interests. I think that we should refer to ACA as ObamaCares because I believe that Mr. Obama does care.

Dr. Gustavo S. Montana lives in Chapel Hill, N.C.