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Letters: Supreme Court mulls health care

Supporters of federal health care reform rally in

Supporters of federal health care reform rally in front of the Supreme Court in Washington on the final day of arguments regarding the health care law signed by President Barack Obama (March 28, 2012) Credit: AP

The fate of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act is now in the hands of the Supreme Court ["NY exchange a healthy step," Editorial, April 9]. I would like to see this law declared unconstitutional because it's a huge takeover of our health care system -- but I have a caveat to offer.

If the law is struck down what will replace it? The Republican Party, Congress and the president will have to come up with a serious alternative to deal with our health care crisis.

I would like to see the following reforms:

Retain the provision that mandates no exclusions for pre-existing conditions.

Require insurance companies to compete nationwide for contracts. Competition would bring savings and innovative approaches to insurance. Insist on the same for drug plans.

Expand primary care clinics for those who cannot afford their own doctors. This could eliminate emergency room visits for routine matters.

Raise Medicare deductions to help meet the cost of the program.

Raise the limit on paying into the Social Security system to reflect increased costs.

Insist that the president, his administration, and members of Congress put themselves under the same laws that they have passed for our "benefit."

Nicholas Dallis, Smithtown

If the Supreme Court rejects all conditions of Obamacare, or enough to make the law useless, we must remember that President Franklin D. Roosevelt suffered many defeats at the hands of the Supreme Court as he tried to push through New Deal laws to end the Great Depression. In the end, the New Deal survived. The court sometimes follows the voice of the people, and people clearly wanted an active federal government fighting the Depression.

President Barack Obama does not have the same situation. As often happens with a relatively revolutionary social welfare program like this, large segments of the public who will benefit strongly oppose it based on ignorance and misunderstanding.

I sadly believe this law will go down, but I do not believe it is the end of the story: American medical care is an expensive, inefficient disaster for too many millions of Americans and cannot last long in its present state.

Joseph D. Policano, East Hampton

Newsday quoted a 41-year-old Tea Party Patriots member and business owner from Atlanta who said she and her family have survived without health insurance because they struck "a deal with doctors" ["Throngs of foes, backers demonstrate," News, March 27]. This attitude is narrow-minded. It assumes that change is not needed because some have gone through life in a certain way that has worked for them, so everyone should be able to.

I wonder how many doctors will "strike a deal" with a 24-year-old who has not had the time to develop a business or savings and needs multiple tumors and organs removed due to cancer. Then, add in the reconstructive surgery and years of chemotherapy and radiation. Would this doctor provide all these services if the cancer had a 5 percent survival rate, or 10 percent? Or would it have to be more like 80 percent?

Christopher Forte, Eatons Neck

Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia appears to have turned logic upside down ["U.S. health care law," News, March 26]. He suggests that if you can make people carry medical insurance, "you can make people buy broccoli."

He misses the point of the legislation. Congress was regulating the medical, not the insurance, industry. The question isn't whether people can be forced to buy broccoli. Rather it is if, and how, people can be required to pay for the broccoli they choose to consume.

Philip Fries, Oakland Gardens