Email #24, Subject: “for all Americans”?

You correctly diagnosed the problem with health care: “Because hospitals are required to treat emergency conditions regardless of ability to pay, the uninsured often turn to emergency rooms for care.  However, this exacerbates the problem because these costs are passed onto all consumers in the form of higher health care prices.” Which means until everyone is insured, and so not using emergency rooms for their primary care, health care prices will keep rising. Obamacare reduced the number of uninsured Americans, but many remain. To deal with the problem you identify, still more need to be insured. You said in your letter to me that you want health care “for all Americans.” So I don’t understand how you can endorse repealing Obamacare and replacing with something that will insure fewer. If your top priority really is all Americans, and if, as you state, the use of emergency rooms by the uninsured is a core problem, then the Empowering Patients First Act is violating your own goals.

Chris Gavaler

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Author: Chris Gavaler

Chris Gavaler is an assistant professor of English at Washington and Lee University where he teaches creative writing, contemporary fiction, and comics. He has published two novels, Pretend I'm Not Here (HarperCollins 2002) and School For Tricksters (Southern Methodist University 2011), and two nonfictions, On the Origin of Superheroes (Iowa University 2015) and Superhero Comics (Bloomsbury forthcoming 2017).

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