Supports changes to U.S. health care

COURTESY TO THE BELLINGHAM HERALDDecember 10, 2013 

My family belongs to that demographic who will soon be saddled with a directly measurable burden under the Affordable Care Act. We pay for individual health insurance, and our premiums will increase by 30-40 percent. Are we happy about this? Of course not. Duh.

But even if we never need the myriad services our new plan offers, I believe our increased premiums are actually an investment that will pay great benefits in the long run. Obamacare gives millions of Americans unprecedented access to health care, including primary care and prescription drug coverage, mental health services and substance abuse treatment. It's abundantly clear that mental illness and substance abuse are major factors contributing to homelessness, crime and incarceration rates in our country. And uninsured folks are more likely to use the ER as an alternative to the doctor's office, driving up costs for all of us. Common sense suggests that providing these basic services will be tremendously beneficial, not just to the well-being of affected individuals, but to our society as a whole. Like a lot of medicine, Obamacare may taste bad going down -- but chances are it's going to make us all feel better once it takes effect.

Anna Evans

Bellingham

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