News articles concerning health care continue to appear in the media. A Feb. 18 Associated Press article (“Baby boomer health care sign-ups booming”) gets to the heart of the issue. The writer notes how people in the 55-64 age bracket make up 31 percent of new enrollees.

Most telling are the words of these newly insured people: “I just cried I was so relieved”; The affordable coverage is “an answer to a prayer, really”; “Now there’s the peace of mind of knowing the limits of my obligation if I have catastrophic health needs”; “Now I’m not scared anymore.”

The author of the article states, “These luckless people, most in their 50s and 60s, have emerged this month as early winners under the nation’s new health insurance system.” The basic principles of the Affordable Care Act are a good foundation for reform, including the extension of coverage to millions of people.

Unfortunately, millions will remain “luckless” and uninsured, 23 million, according to T.R. Reid’s book “The Healing of America.” Anyone can become “luckless” overnight due to job loss, accidents and changing circumstances. Much has been written about how our country spends far more than other nations, yet ranks behind many on health outcomes.

Reid also reports that out of 191 developed countries, the United States ranks 54th in fairness in respect to health care. Access to health care should not resemble a lottery.

Our country, founded on the concept of “justice for all,” needs to achieve fairness and justice in health care. Other nations have done this.

Building on the ACA, a single-payer system would work best in our large, diverse and ever-changing nation. In keeping with our nation’s pledge of “justice for all,” all of its people deserve health care and the peace of mind expressed by the “early winners” of the ACA.

Jean Sawyer

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