The Register-Herald, Beckley, West Virginia

Our Readers Speak

October 24, 2012

Our Readers Speak — Wednesday, Oct. 24, 2012

Why does Congress get free medical care?

I would like to know why people in Congress are entitled to free medical care and Veterans have to co-pay for the treatment that they receive.

Joseph Pusateri



The truth about the Affordable Care Act

I would like to respond to the reader last week who addressed the Affordable Care Act. Mr. Roberts stated that “a panel of 15 people who are not doctors or nurses or in any way connected to the medical field will be telling insurance companies whether they can pay for procedures your doctor considers you need.” In his next sentence, he implies this includes Medicare.

According to the Kaiser Family Foundation (a nonprofit, non-partisan foundation dedicated to producing and communicating the best possible information on health issues) the statute sets out the qualifications for the panel as: expertise in health care, economics, research and technology assessment, experiences with employers and third party payers and consumers. It requires a balance between urban and rural representation. A majority must be non-providers but it never eliminates doctors or nurses from serving. Second, the panel is prohibited from including any recommendation that would: (1) ration health care; (2) raise revenues or increase Medicare premiums or (3) change Medicare benefits or cost sharing.

Another misconception Mr. Roberts makes is that federal money will be used to pay for abortions. The ACA has reinforced the current federal laws, known as the Hyde Amendment, which has been in effect since 1976. This limits federal funds to cases of rape, incest or to protect the life of the pregnant woman.

Lastly, the $716 billion reduction in Medicare simply is not a cut in services or loss of any benefits. In fact, Medicare members gain preventive services at no cost to them and better prescription coverage. The Medicare trustees have determined that the ACA will actually extend the solvency of the Medicare Trust Fund by eight years.

Going in to any discussion or forming any opinion with the facts is far better than to simply state the inaccurate views of the far right or left. There is a lot of information available on ACA that is factual. We believe that education regarding this legislation is critical. We look forward to meeting with any group interested in obtaining more information.

Doris Selko


Southern Regional Coordinator

West Virginians for Affordable Health Care


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Our Readers Speak