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Letter to the Editor: League honored its nonpartisan mission

on November 07, 2013 10:59 AM

As the target of Dr. Tom Trevorrow’s recent letter (“League event only offered one side of story”), I thought it was important to set the record straight.

Yes, I do work for an organization that supports the Affordable Care Act. The Pennsylvania Health Access Network’s mission is to protect high-quality health insurance for families and small businesses, and expand coverage to the uninsured.

When there are state and federal policies that work toward those goals, we support them. We’re very clear about our mission — as is the League of Women Voters, who study important public policy issues and take stands that reflect the priorities and careful deliberations of its members.

Yes, I was escorted from the Marriott in Pittsburgh (http://earlyreturns.post-gazette.com/home/early-returns-posts/5744-obama care-battle-scenes), not because our group was being disruptive, but because the organization hosting the “town hall” — the well-heeled Heritage Foundation — didn’t extend the courtesy I did to those in attendance who held opposing views.

Rather than disrupt the program, as many tea party members did at congressional town halls over the last several years, our group simply held up signs reading “LIE” when we heard speakers spreading misinformation about the new law.

Unfortunately, there was plenty of it: “Debunked health care claims live on at Heritage town hall” read a recent fact-checking from the Pulitzer-winning Politifact.com. (http://www. poli tifact.com/truth-o-meter /article/2013/aug/23/de bunked-health-care-claims-live-heritage-town-hal)

As I said at the league’s forum: We’re all free to form our own opinions, but those opinions shouldn’t be based on misinformation and lies. I am glad that we addressed every question from the audience, and that we let everyone — including Dr. Trevorrow — have the floor to express their opinions and concerns, and ask questions.

And yes, I stand by the information I presented at the event, taken from credible sources such as the nonpartisan Kaiser Family Foundation (http://kff.org) and the Congressional Budget Office (http://cbo.gov). I stand by our work to make sure all Pennsylvanians have access to stable, quality, affordable health care. And I stand by the league, which honored its nonpartisan mission and its commitment that all U.S. residents have “access to a basic level of quality care.” (http://www.palwv.org/files/126_WhereWeStand.pdf)

Erin Ninehouser

Pennsylvania Health Access Network

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