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Letters to the Editor

BY DI READERS | NOVEMBER 05, 2012 6:30 AM

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Elect Stutsman and Schwab

The 2010 census brought legislative redistricting because the residential growth in our community. I have been honored to serve Coralville, western Iowa City, Penn Township, North Liberty, and Tiffin.

This growth has created a new Iowa House District (77) for North Liberty and Tiffin. This gives voters an opportunity to elect Sally Stutsman to the Iowa House of Representatives. We also have an opportunity to elect Dick Schwab for the newly configured House District 73, which serves the northern Johnson County (Solon) area and Cedar County.

Politics aside, both Stutsman and Schwab are hard workers, and even more importantly, they will listen to you. Please support Stutsman and Schwab for Iowa House.

Dave and Lynette Jacoby
Coralville

Positives of Obamacare

In this election, arguments about women’s health care have often focused on abortion and contraception coverage. While I agree these are important issues, I would like to share my views from the perspective of a female cancer patient.

The Affordable Care Act, a.k.a. “Obamacare,” requires insurance companies to cover such preventative services as breast-cancer mammography screenings every one to two years for women over 40, breast-cancer chemoprevention counseling for women at higher risk, and annual screenings for cervical cancer. Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan have pledged to repeal Obamacare, meaning many women could lose these important benefits from their paid insurance plans.

Even worse is the Republican plan, or lack thereof, for the many women currently without coverage. When money is tight, women are often the family members who go uncovered because we are often charged as much as three times the insurance rates of men (a problem Obamacare resolves as of 2014). I know many hard-working women — single and married — who are self-employed or work jobs that offer no insurance coverage and who can’t afford to pay for coverage themselves. Many married women whose spouse has a good health insurance policy still go uncovered because of the high cost of adding family coverage.

Obamacare will make more options available to all women when the program goes into full force in 2014. But meanwhile, women without coverage need Planned Parenthood.

For me, these issues are personal. In August, I was diagnosed with breast cancer. Because my cancer was caught early, my prognosis is excellent. It is not an exaggeration to say that my “Obamacare mammogram” may have saved my life. If the mammogram had not been covered as part of my annual exam, I would not have been able to afford to have one.

Obamacare also ensures that I don’t have to worry about lifetime caps on insurance coverage or being dropped by my insurance company. It gives me the power to shop around for affordable insurance premiums without being rejected because of a pre-existing condition. And because my coverage is more secure, I don’t have to worry about saddling my family with insurmountable debt should my condition worsen. No family should go bankrupt just because one family member happens to get sick.

One out of every eight women will be diagnosed with breast cancer during their lives. Yet when breast cancer is detected in the early, localized stages, the five-year survival rate is 98 percent. The evidence of my cancer was so small that I would not have discovered it with a self-exam until the cancer was much more life-threatening. Access to mammograms and other preventative cancer screenings is crucial, and President Obama has pledged to maintain access to these services for ALL women. As you mark your ballot in this election, the choice you make for president could save the lives of the women you love. 

Karen Nichols
Iowa City


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