The Affordable Care Act was an attempt to compromise and preserve the private insurance system for those who can afford it. I am happy to do my part and pay a middle man for my insurance. For those who cannot, Republicans must expand Medicaid and give this ideological compromise a chance to work.

Why should cost matter? I was taught to love my neighbor and to help the neediest of us, the least of us. There was never a qualification that we help only if it does not cost anyone anything, nor was there a qualification that we should not seek to help through the structure of government. A government is merely a collection of people, every citizen. Medicaid expansion undoubtedly would help people. So who are we, exactly, if we decide we say no?

Should the government not provide health care? I suppose those who oppose Medicaid would say the poor should depend on private charity. Our private health care system has been in place for all of our lifetimes and sufficient charity has never materialized.

My grandparents receive their care through Medicare, and the government seems to run this system reasonably well.

The compromise of the Affordable Care Act has its roots in ideas from Republican think tanks in the 1990s. These are good ideas, allowing us to preserve the insurance industry while nearing universal coverage. A key piece is expanding Medicaid.

Republicans should have the foresight to see that if the vision laid out by the Affordable Care Act fails, the people eventually will demand a single-payer system. Most people I talk to see it the way I do: Health care is a human right, and it is our moral obligation to get people that care.

Jon BuckWinthrop