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Letter: Affordable Care Act provides many benefits

Published: Monday, Oct. 22, 2012 5:30 a.m. CDT

To the Editor:

When we talk about health care reform, the Affordable Care Act, we are talking about what could be called the “American Plan.” It is a Constitutional law that has been put in place to protect and provide care for fellow Americans. It is patriotic and democratic to care about our fellow citizens. It is in keeping with the letter and the spirit of the U.S. Constitution and it is in line with what our founders had hoped for this nation.

This law provides many benefits to the citizens of Illinois and DeKalb County. Let’s look at retirees: According to the Kaiser Family Foundation, an estimated 174,000 people from Illinois retired before they were eligible for Medicare. Unfortunately, the number of businesses that provide health coverage to their retired employees has decreased over time. Since this American Plan went into effect, the $5 billion temporary early retiree reinsurance program has helped provide the support firms needed to continue coverage for thousands of early retirees.

According the Office of the Actuary of the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, an estimated 151,000 Medicare beneficiaries in Illinois last year hit what is called the “doughnut hole,” or a gap in Medicare Part D drug coverage. Now however, thanks to the health care law championed by President Obama, Medicare beneficiaries in Illinois will automatically be mailed a one-time, $250 rebate check. In addition, they will receive discounts and other supports. The law also leads to a permanent closing of this gap by 2020.

There are many more benefits for children, adults young and old, and small businesses. This is what a law should do: It increases liberty, freedom, and life for all Americans. Serious illness without health care robs a person of their liberty and freedom and even threatens their life. So many here in Illinois have been helped and many more will be helped by this law; A law that Republicans want to repeal and have tried to do so 30 times as of July 2012.

Read the facts of the law for yourself. Don’t let me or anyone else tell you what it means for you, decide for yourself. When you look at the real benefits and the health care cost it will save all tax payers in America I think you will find that this Democratic American Plan will increase freedom and liberty for all.

Monika Merryman


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