Re "Obamacare is a losing issue" (Letters, Sept. 21): Americans have four routes for getting health insurance:
1. Keep the insurance you have now from employers, Medicaid or Medicare.
2. Buy insurance in the private market at full market rates.
3. Refuse insurance and pay the fine to protect emergency rooms and hospitals against your unpaid costs or pay all your own costs yourself.
4. Buy private insurance in the exchange with subsidies that vastly reduce your costs, provide huge numbers of free services, excellent coverage standards, and guaranteed access no matter your health.
Number 4 is the major part of "Obamacare".
Any of these options is open to you. Insurance is mandated now simply to protect us taxpayers from having to pay for your costs if you default. Government will not run your health care any more than it does in Medicare. It will simply help you pay for it in Number 4. Now what is so scary about that?
-- Elizabeth Sholes, Sacramento, director of Special Projects, California Council of Churches