In 1867, U.S. Congressman John Bidwell wrote: “I concede that men may sometimes honestly differ in opinion. But, in questions of principle…, some things are so palpably wrong as to carry them beyond the sphere of opinion.”

It is time to “make America great again.” Let us begin by examining our most heartfelt governing principles, taking a single issue as an example: access to health care for all citizens. Is this a governing principle that you can believe in?  If so, how can we achieve it?

Fortunately, we have two models already available from which to choose, the Affordable Health Care Act (Obamacare), and the Republican proposal for an American Health Care Act (AHCA—An abbreviation that can only cloud the distinctions between Obamacare and the Republican plan), recently passed by the House and awaiting revision in the Senate.

The Obamacare plan requires insurance to provide essential health benefits, including care for maternity, mental health and substance abuse, prescription drugs, rehabilitation services, lab work, pediatric services and preventive care. The Republican plan allows states to apply for waivers that would not require insurers to provide coverage for these essential health services. Which insurance plan would you prefer for you and your family?

Obamacare will not allow insurers to deny coverage of people because of pre-existing health conditions such as diabetes, cancer, asthma or arthritis.  The Republican proposal would allow insurers to deny insurance to people with pre-existing health conditions.

It would also allow insurers to charge older people up to five times (or more) what they charge young people for the same policy, thus making “age” a pre-existing condition. This is age discrimination of a very high order. Is this a governing principle that you can believe in?

The American Health Care Act is palpably wrong.

George Spangler,

Chatfield