This is in response to the July 20 letter, “Obamacare: False promises.”

Patrick. J. Naples, M.D., while accusing the Affordable Care Act free screening commercial of “obvious falsehood,” wrote: “As an example of how health-care decisions are likely to be made under the Affordable Care Act, one only needs to look to the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force, which came out in the past year with new and controversial changes in recommendations for screening tests. The task force is partially funded by the government. Perhaps the most controversial recommendations concerned mammograms.”

The task force voted for the mammogram recommendations in June 2008, more than four years ago, under the presidency of George W. Bush. The media revealed those recommendations in November 2009.

In 1984, the Reagan administration created the Preventive Services Task Force. It was deliberately set up to be nonpolitical. It has 16 volunteer members, national experts from preventive, primary care, internal and family medicine; pediatrics; behavioral health; nursing; and obstetrics and gynecology. Its findings and recommendations do not set health-care policy.

Four days after the mammogram recommendations cited by Naples, the media brought attention to a second “controversial recommendation,” from the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, which said most women in their 20s could have a Pap test every two years, instead of yearly. Yet Naples tells us to look no further than the Preventive Services Task Force to see how decisions will be made for “Obamacare.”

Naples then warned that “future screening recommendations will be coming from an ‘expert’ panel of 12 to 15 people totally funded by the government,” a panel that will be “shielded from any congressional oversight.” He also warned that “decisions will be removed from the patient and the physician.”

If he is referring to the Patient Centered Outcome Research Institute, it is a panel of 21 board members, and a 17-member methodology committee. The vision is: “Patients and the public will have the information they need to make decisions that reflect their desired health outcomes.” The institute is to last until 2019, through health-care changes.

Visit the Healthcare.gov website, and you will find that the Affordable Care Act is about affordable health care, not worrying about pre-existing conditions, keeping your doctor and insurance company, prevention, screenings, allowing you and your doctor to plan your care, and yes, even mammograms under age 50. Nothing scary there.

Marsha Gilger

Doylestown

ALEC in ?the legislature

Most of us assume that when we elect our state senators and representatives, they will serve as advocates for the people of Ohio. In other words, we assume they will work for us and protect our interests.

Unfortunately, this is not true of many of our legislators. As of January, 43 percent of Ohio’s elected representatives pledged their allegiance to the American Legislative Exchange Council, or ALEC.

It is a very powerful organization that is supported by nearly 300 corporations and their lobbyists, who use it as a tool to advance their extremist agenda in state legislatures across America. Its agenda includes the destruction of our public school system, the elimination of all environmental protections, the support of Florida-style “stand your ground” gun laws, elimination of Social Security and Medicare and the support of voter suppression laws.

The group is just another example of why our political system is so corrupt. State legislators are invited to become members of ALEC. The organization in turn gives them “scholarships” and other financial support. In exchange for this money, ALEC-affiliated representatives introduce and then work to push through the legislative process model bills drafted by ALEC.

In short, even though affiliated legislators are elected by Ohio voters and even though Ohio taxpayers pay their salaries and benefits, they work for ALEC. Is your state senator or representative a member of ALEC? If you don’t know, then ask them. If they say “yes,” they don’t deserve your support on Election Day.

James A. Ciocia

Lyndhurst

Empty promise ?of gun control

Predictably, a horrific shooting rampage brings out the cry for additional gun controls. Self-styled experts seem to think that more laws are going to stop people from breaking the law.

More gun-control laws will only affect those who already obey the law — not the crazies who perpetrate these horrible crimes.

These mass murders make the news since they happen all at once; there already have been more murders in Akron this year than in the Colorado shooting. And how many of those were accomplished with a legally owned gun?

I presume that the Harvard group that “found much evidence” of a correlation between the number of guns and the number of murders got its evidence from the Brady gun-control group.

Data published by the FBI have shown the opposite. There has been a steady decrease in violent crime, including murder, over the past decade or two, while gun purchases have soared.

For some reason, military look-alike weapons — the so-called assault weapons — have become very popular. But none has 100-round magazines. And even magazines with a modest capacity of six or eight rounds can be replaced very rapidly, making magazine capacity limits meaningless.

Yes, the National Rifle Association does oppose additional gun-control measures. But the several million NRA members also speak for many more gun owners.

This is not some small, radical militia group, but a group of legitimate hunters, formal and informal target shooters and collectors.

And NRA members have historically supported severe punishment of those who misuse guns.

Bob Dessent

Tallmadge