To the Journal editor:
The latest federal budget fiasco seemed focused on the Affordable Care Act (aka Obamacare).
While there are some questions as to how this law will be implemented and at what cost, the libertarian philosophy espoused by Republicans is the direct cause of the spiraling health care expenses that prompted the passage of the law in the first place.
Over the last several decades, Americans have grown increasingly large and unhealthy. The standard American diet heavy on meat, dairy and processed sugar (this crap tastes good) and lack of exercise (it hurts and/or takes time away from TV, computers and electronic gadgets) have caused two-thirds of us to become overweight and one-third obese.
Health care costs have skyrocketed so much to treat the greater incidence of diabetes, heart disease, cancer and other ailments resulting from these short-sighted, poor personal choices that the collective weight of these bad decisions threatens to bankrupt the country.
Many doctors, most of whose schooling included few courses in nutrition, now prescribe pills or order series of tests to manage and evaluate these afflictions because they're paid for sevices, not a successful outcome.
Since there's a greater demand for these services, medical and insurance costs have risen dramatically. This is the medical market that developed without regulation in our free enterprise system.
Mayor Bloomberg of New York suggested adding a tax on the purchase of large, unhealthy soft drinks to discourage (regulate) their consumption, a very practical idea.
But as usual and despite the prospect of long-term medical savings, conservatives fell back on their ideological platform of opposition to increased taxes and government regulation to stop passage of his idea to discourage one of our unhealthy habits.
Since their political philosophy is clearly responsible for the health care crisis and soaring medical costs now confronting our nation, I think it's time for Republicans to give the ACA- which itself was a major compromise because the law requires people to choose a private company's insurance policy and not a single-payer government-run program-a chance to work despite some initial glitches that in no way take away the chance for savings down the road.