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With up to 300,000 people falling sick every day and up to 5,000 people dying daily from COVID-19, the U.S. is at war with the virus. With COVID-19 spreading out of control, health care must be available and affordable for everyone.

The Affordable Care Act (ACA or “Obamacare”) has already helped people with pre-existing conditions to get health care.

Biden’s efforts to strengthen the Affordable Care Act propose reducing drug costs, setting up a public insurance option (PIO) to our current private insurance and making federal subsidies larger, reducing the per-person cost.

Is the public insurance option a good idea? Some say that it would be too expensive. My answer: The U.S. has the most expensive health insurance per person in the world, according to World Health Organization.

Will taxes increase? Not necessarily, but If we pay through taxes, the rise in taxes would likely cost less than what you pay now.

Perhaps it would not give as good health care coverage. The World Health Organization (WHO) ranked the U.S. 37th this year in health care. The better programs are national government programs.

Can I pick my doctor and hospital? PIO can be designed that way.

What if I want to stay with my current private insurance plan? That’s your choice.

These changes would lower the cost of health care. And that is just what we West Virginians need in this pandemic.

David Shapiro

Romney, W.Va.

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