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Letters: Obamacare exchanges can work

A woman looks at the insurance exchange

A woman looks at the insurance exchange internet site in Washington, DC. (Oct. 1, 2013) Credit: Getty Images

After reading Lane Filler's column on why the Affordable Care Act won't work, I decided to log on to the New York State exchange site myself ["Here's why Obamacare won't work," Opinion, Oct. 9].

Contrary to the difficulties he experienced, with my most recent tax return in hand, I was able to estimate my premium and credit in less than five minutes. The actual application took about 15 minutes more.

Some plans for people living in Nassau County cost much less than the amounts Filler cited. There are also numerous credits, income limits and hardship exemptions that affect the premium for many applicants, and a toll-free number and counselors available to help.

His claim that the "system knows everything" is a scare tactic. Anyone who has run his or her credit report would know that information such as previous address, loans, etc., is part of their credit history.

I recommend readers do their research and not be dissuaded by the sarcasm, scare tactics and inappropriate analogies Filler relies on.

Dorothy Stiles, Mineola

The writer raised a concern about the government having his personal information, regarding cars he had owned among other things. Actually, those questions are used by many corporations. When you apply for a loan online, for example, the lender uses your credit history to confirm your identity. I assume that most people would appreciate the extra precaution.

Second, the writer took a stance that paying the fine would be more cost-effective than paying for an insurance plan. He argued that if you got sick, you could just get a plan then with no problem. However, in an emergency situation, the chances are that you won't have time to sign up for health insurance before receiving a hefty emergency room bill.

People shouldn't have to worry about that. That is the whole point of the Affordable Care Act.

Jaime Defeo, Sound Beach

I pray that Lane Filler and his family live long, healthy lives. I pray that he and his relatives never suffer a heart attack, or are struck by a speeding car, or break a leg while skiing, or suffer an aggressive cancer. They should all live well and be healthy.

And should, God forbid, a tragedy strike, Filler no doubt will insist that he or his loved one be rushed to a hospital, that the good doctors will do everything necessary to heal and save, and that the rest of us will pick up the tab through higher premiums and taxes.

Yes, health insurance is expensive, and yes, we all hope never to have to use it for such a tragedy. And yes, no one should be denied coverage because of preexisting conditions. Yet our basic social contract ensures that no one bleeds to death on the street or is denied expensive lifesaving chemotherapy because he can't pay. We all purchase insurance that most of us, we pray, will never use for a catastrophe.

Filler knows that no matter his selfishness, we will not let his loved ones be denied the care they need, because America is a better country than that.

Michael A. White, Roslyn

Editor's note: The writer is the senior rabbi at Temple Sinai of Roslyn.