To the Editor:

Fran DeSimone's letter regarding the Affordable Care Act ("ACA," crudely called "Obamacare"), contains so many fantasies, distortions and falsehoods that a response is in order.

1) Chief Justice Roberts called the ACA mandate a "tax" in the sense that the penalty for not having health insurance would be meted out through one's tax return and is thus within the federal government's powers.

It is not a new tax, and nowhere does anything indicate "21 new tax laws will be enacted," which will require new IRS hirees or a "3.8 percent" collection on the sale of one's house.

2) The only "liberties" that "will be taken away" are the liberty of an insurance company to refuse to insure you when you have a pre-existing condition and the liberty of an insurance company to kick your 21-year-old off your policy, forcing him or her to buy expensive private insurance or go without health care.

3) The ACA does not have the ability to "kill the private health care industry." In fact, it enshrines it, guaranteeing insurers (that is, private companies) will dictate what health care gets covered.

4) There is no "ethics committee" defined in the ACA that would determine if a senior could have a medical procedure. We already have those in the form of insurance companies and HMOs, which decide what they will pay for.

Medicare already has medical advisory committees, and no one is being left to die because of them. The tactics used in this letter are common on AM radio shows, but that does not make them true. It is true seniors or those who will someday be seniors should be afraid. They should be afraid of Paul Ryan, who wants to end Medicare and substitute a voucher program.

Instead of having Medicare, a senior would be sent a voucher to be used to buy health insurance in the private sector. These vouchers would not be tied to rising health costs, so seniors each year would pay more and more out of their own pockets, thus shifting the burden of health care onto the backs of the middle class. Right now, almost one-third of health care costs are eaten up by insurance company profits and paperwork, which is why Americans pay about two and half times what other countries pay for health care with worse results.

I agree with Ms. DeSimone on one thing. Take action in November.

Christopher Pelham