Democrat or Republican, conservative or liberal, it is imperative that we cast our votes with an educated mind.

This is particularly important when we consider where the candidates stand on the Affordable Care Act.  Love it or hate it, this legislation will have a profound effect on the way we deliver health care and has already been the subject of a great deal of fear and misinformation.

Regardless of your party affiliation, I encourage you to educate yourselves about what this act really says and, more importantly, what it doesn’t.  Please don’t depend on fear-mongering political ads for your source of information about such an important subject. This is especially true if you believe that “Obamacare” includes “government death panels,” coverage for illegal immigrants, or that small businesses will be “forced” to provide health insurance for their employees.

 Don’t take my word for it, or Obama’s. There are several on-line quizzes that you can take about the Affordable Health Care Act. These quizzes are an easy way to start learning just what is included in the Affordable Care Act and what is not. The Christian Science Monitor has an online quiz, as does the American Cancer Society (acscan.org/quiz).

If you would like to see how your knowledge compares to the rest of the country, Google “Kaiser health reform quiz” and take the quiz.  A few weeks ago my husband wrote a letter to the editor about how health care reform would affect our niece, who suffers with a serious preexisting condition. Contrary to the opinion of a responding letter writer, he is quite knowledgeable about The Affordable Care Act.

Anyone who has watched a loved one suffer with a serious illness can tell you that it’s pretty much impossible to live “with your head in the clouds.” Suffering (and the impact on your checkbook) have a way of bringing you back down to earth pretty quickly.

While far from perfect, the Affordable Care Act makes several important strides towards making health care accessible for millions of Americans. Healthy differences of opinion are always a good thing, but it’s even better if they are educated opinions. My husband scored higher than 97 percent of people who took the Kaiser quiz. Educate yourself, take the quiz, and see if you can beat the score of a gullible, left-leaning liberal.

Jeanne Heyer,

Burlington

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