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Opinion Letters Moving toward Socialism?

The Tea Party people believe that one is responsible for his own health care, not the government; and any attempt to force one to buy private health insurance is Socialism.

If you really believe that, then there should be no Medicare, and Medicaid, and we should not pay for someone else's emergency room visit.

Just now, the government requires hospitals to provide emergency room services to any uninsured person who shows up. Just now, the cost of that service is paid by all of us through our insurance premiums.

So if we really believe that the government has no role in health care, let us then change the law. Simply let people die at the emergency room door. So believing, we don't want our tax dollars keeping anyone alive but ourselves. Otherwise we would have Socialism.

But if we don't want uninsured people to die at the emergency room door, then we should find a way to pay for those uninsured in the cheapest way possible. Every study shows the best way to save money is to provide basic health insurance to those who are too poor to afford it. So instead of an average $1,500 for every ER visit, we pay for an appointment at a doctor's office for, say, $150. That would save millions of our tax dollars, just in Western N.C. alone.

North Carolina had a chance to do just that. As part of The Affordable Care Act, Medicaid was to be expanded to cover the working poor. In North Carolina, alone, these amounted to over 500,000 people. The federal government was to have paid for this with our federal tax dollars. These are tax dollars that we will pay no matter what N.C. does. But the N.C. Republican legislature and Governor McCrory have turned the money down. They don't want it!

They agree with the Tea Party. We are not our brothers' keepers.

David Watters — Franklin, N.C.





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