The tea party Republicans have sent the Affordable Care Act to the Supreme Court extremists (The Five) to determine its constitutionality. Remember, five justices chose our president in 2000, and five justices miraculously made corporations into individuals in 2011. This should be frightening in a democracy.

The Five could erase gains provided by the Affordable Care Act:

* Patients can no longer be denied coverage due to pre-existing conditions.

* Insurance companies cannot cancel policies of people who get sick.

* Young adults can stay on their family insurance plan until age 26.

* 95 percent of Americans, including 50 million currently uninsured, will be covered, including 64,000 Mainers.

* Health care will be more affordable for up to 359,000 families and 38,900 small businesses in Maine, thanks to tax credits and subsidies.

* Seniors on Medicare pay less for prescription drugs because the doughnut hole has been eliminated.

* The number of primary care doctors, nurses and public health professionals will increase.

* Preventative care, including annual check-ups and cancer screenings, will be free under Medicare and all new private insurance plans.

* Community health centers will receive an $11 billion boost in funding.

The Affordable Care Act is fully paid for and will cut the federal deficit by $143 billion over the next 10 years and $1.2 trillion in the following 10 years.

What’s not to like about this act? All other industrialized countries have national healthcare for its people. This act is close to it. Would we not have peace of mind knowing we wouldn’t lose everything we’ve worked for because we got sick and we’d have better and less costly health care? This is what five justices will decide for the whole country. The Five are great cause for concern.

Gloria Fleming

Augusta

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