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Reader's view: Cravaack's health vote not in our interests

Rep. Chip Cravaack recently voted to repeal the Affordable Health Care Act, and he attempted to justify his vote in a commentary published in the News Tribune Jan. 19 under the headline, "Repealing health-care reform a chance to start over."...

Rep. Chip Cravaack recently voted to repeal the Affordable Health Care Act, and he attempted to justify his vote in a commentary published in the News Tribune Jan. 19 under the headline, "Repealing health-care reform a chance to start over."

Cravaack failed.

First, his confidence in the free market to provide affordable health care for all is a cruel joke to the 43 million Americans who have been denied affordable health care under those free markets.

He said health-care reform would add to the deficit. The nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office disagrees, reporting that the act would cut the deficit by $230 billion over the next 10 years. Legislators are not free to simply substitute their own lies or opinions for CBO figures. And if repealing the health insurance reforms really would save money, why did the Republican-controlled House resolve to exempt the repeal legislation from its promise to require that legislation not increase the deficit?

Cravaack said malpractice is not addressed by the act and that malpractice lawsuits greatly increase the cost of health care. All malpractice lawsuits, both frivolous and justified, account for fewer than 4 percent of total health-care costs. He needs to find a new bogeyman.

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Cravaack also wants employers to be able to buy insurance across state lines. This would simply allow employers to buy insurance from states with the lowest standards, increasing employees' out-of-pocket costs and cutting their coverage.

Ultimately, Republicans seems to want an economy that will produce a few wealthy people on top and that forces the rest of us to compete with our neighbors -- the teacher, steelworker, or firefighter down the street -- for the few crumbs the rich will throw. I prefer a country in which we live by the words of the late Sen. Paul Wellstone, who said, "We all do better when we all do better."

Debra L. Taylor

Duluth

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