Keep safeguarding ACA

My colleagues and I breathed a deep sigh of relief when President Trump was unable to repeal the Affordable Care Act ("Health bill collapses," Saturday). As family nurse practitioners at Abbotsford Falls Health Center, our patients have greatly benefitted from the ACA. It enabled our Philadelphia practice to lower our rate of uninsured folks from 25 percent to less than 10 percent and add primary-care providers, nurses, medical assistants, and a pain-management specialist.

With Trumpcare, experts estimated that the uninsured rate would have reverted to pre-ACA levels or worse, and those who lost their health insurance would have been unlikely to become reinsured. Although Trump claimed he was moving on from health care, we must remain vigilant in protecting the ACA. There is no reason to believe that Republicans have rejected their belief that health care is a privilege and that if you don't have health insurance, it's your own fault.

The ACA has covered more than 20 million Americans, but there is room to improve. While Republicans, Democrats, and independents differ on how we can make health care more affordable and attainable, we must resist any attempt to weaken the secure system we have.

|Tarik S. Khan, Philadelphia, tarikrn@gmail.com

Playing the blame game

It's a positive sign that the Trump administration is now realizing what progressives have known for years, that the Republican Freedom Caucus doesn't have the ability to govern ("Trump pins the blame on GOP's Freedom Caucus," Monday). Governing requires listening carefully to what the other side has to say, deciding how your interests may mesh with theirs, and writing bills that can pass not just with hard-core ideologues but the general public.

President Trump's tweet to watch Fox News' Jeanine Pirro denounce House Speaker Paul Ryan is of interest ("Fox news host says Ryan should step down," Monday), but I'm curious who Trump would prefer in Ryan's place. If he backs a moderate in a district where he or she has significant Democratic competition, as opposed to someone who only has to worry about right-wing primary challengers, Trump may move from being an irrelevant lightning rod to being a productive president.

|Richmond L Gardner, Horsham, rlg3526@ix.netcom.com

We all lose

I was disgusted to watch President Trump blame Democrats for the health bill's failure and then cavalierly say, "The best thing we can do, politically speaking, is let Obamacare explode." Talk about an abdication of responsibility and lack of leadership.

I was equally disgusted to see House Democratic leader Nancy Pelosi gloating about it being a "great day for our country." It was not a great day for America. Our health-care system needs fixing, and the people we elected to do it are more concerned about their petty political power than the American people.

|Stefan Keller, Huntingdon Valley

To all the Trump supporters who had their health care saved by those of us who wrote letters, made phone calls, marched in protests, or emailed Congress: You're welcome.

|Claire Gawinowicz, Oreland

Painful budget cuts

Regardless of which political party you support, the Trump administration's budget illustrates the impact of small government on our lives ("Trump budget bad for region," Sunday).

Forget for the moment defense spending and the Affordable Care Act - the budget calls for elimination of the National Endowments of the Arts and the Humanities, drastic reductions for science, the Environmental Protection Agency, and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and significant rollbacks in the support systems that protect average Americans against unscrupulous business practices. If Congress allows this to happen, do you think your life will be better or worse? Will the country and planet that you leave to your children be better off or worse off? If you think "worse off," write your representatives and tell them to stop this.

|Barry Lurie, Bala Cynwyd, barrylurie@comcast.net

What happened to integrity?

I agree with the commentary that integrity requires adhering to our values ("Brazile case - media, political double standards," Wednesday). Let's apply the values of fairness, respect, and integrity equally to Hillary Clinton's campaign lapses with challenger Bernie Saunders and Donald Trump's campaign lapses with Russia. We need transparency and accountability from both parties.

We also need to ask ourselves how we let our beloved democracy stray so far from our ideals. This is not a partisan question.

|Rachel Sorokin Goff, Elkins Park