Providing health care for the American people is not just a political issue; it is a matter of life or death for many of our citizens. A study by researchers with Harvard Medical School in 2009 found that 45,000 deaths a year could be attributed to lack of health insurance. Other studies have estimated the number of deaths to be lower, but all studies I accessed agree that thousands of Americans die each year because they cannot afford adequate health care.

It only stands to reason that if people who suffer from diabetes or chronic heart disease cannot afford medication to control their illnesses, they are at risk of early death. People with critical illnesses who delay seeking treatment often have unfavorable outcomes. It is sobering to realize that if these people had been born in Canada, Britain, or Sweden, they would have had the resources to live a normal life span.

The ACA is not perfect and needs to be improved, but it has saved thousands of American lives.

If tens of thousands of our citizens died each year from terrorism or a new viral infection, we would mobilize immediately to combat the threats. We are an amazing country. We declared to the world that all men are created equal. We rebuilt Europe after World War II. We sent a man to the moon. Surely we can create a health care system that will save the lives of our families and neighbors.

Marlene Douglas

Winthrop