I Fully Endorse Reform

The Record ( — Saturday, August 1, 2009

Letters to the Editor

As a doctor, I fully endorse reform that finally makes health care affordable for every patient I see – the insured and uninsured alike. We need to spend money not just to increase the number of people with access to quality care, but also to make the investments we have put off for too long that will benefit everyone. We need more primary care providers who are compensated adequately. We need to invest in chronic disease management so I'm not seeing patients in the emergency room for preventable complications from asthma or diabetes. We need electronic medical records to reduce errors and save lives.

The money for reform is well worth it. From my standpoint, the primary goal should be to insure as many people as possible and keep the system sustainable while not providing further economic strain on middle- and low-income families who are already struggling.

With that in mind, I think the progressive revenue sources in the House bill make a lot of sense. The proposed surtax would only affect the richest 1.2 percent of Americans, those making more than $280,000 as an individual or $350,000 as a family. I should mention that it affects me directly – I make enough money that I'd need to pay $400 out-of-pocket per year for the surtax. But if you ask me whether I'd like $400 in my pocket or healthier patients who have access to quality health care, it's no contest.

As the unemployment rate increases, more and more Americans become uninsured every day. The time to act is now.

Kate Aberger
Belleville, July 30

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