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Art Wittich is out of touch when he rants "Obamacare was premised on lies. The lie was we're going to lower the cost of healthcare, and we're going to increase access. It was a big fat lie." (Missoulian, March 11)

Some figures from the current issue of The Economist, no liberal mouthpiece, rebut him: Americans without health insurance have fallen from 41.3 million before the insurance exchanges arrived in 2013 to 30 million today. At the same time, America is experiencing the slowest growth in health spending in five decades. Facts matter, unless you live in Wittich's alternate universe.

Of course Montanans are not sharing in all the benefits, because Mr. Wittich believes Montana should balance the federal budget by turning away federal funds for Medicaid expansion, funds which would lower medical bills for all of us, not just for the 70,000 it would get into the system. Instead, every time we see a doctor we pay The Wittich Surcharge: the higher rate to subsidize charitable care of the uninsured.

Far from being a “socialist” intrusion into medicine as sometimes portrayed, Obamacare puts market forces to work. Individuals without employer insurance can now compare prices on the insurance exchanges. The law gives consumers of health care more leverage by promoting price transparency, and by making providers accountable for quality of care.

Too much has been written about who pays what for insurance under Obamacare. Not enough has been written about how it changes the way medicine is practiced, for the better. The Economist concludes: "Far from bankrupting the nation, as its critics predicted, Obamacare may be making medicine thriftier."

Obamacare is working. Get used to it, Mr. Wittich.

 

David Andrews,

Missoula

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