Watching the histrionics of Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Tex.) and many House Republicans over the Affordable Care Act, I am struck by how these lawmakers are acting contrary to their stated values of self-reliance and everyone doing his or her part. Recall that, before Obamacare, the costs of health care for the uninsured were largely borne by padding the bills of those who were insured. That is, one could argue that the uninsured were freeloaders who unfairly drove up the costs of health care for everyone else.

This is an unsympathetic portrayal of the millions of uninsured Americans, to be sure, but it is essentially accurate. Indeed, it was this realization that originally prompted leading conservative thinkers and lawmakers to propose the mandatory-insurance model at the core of Obamacare. Though the Affordable Care Act may have warts, the status quo is as indefensible as it is cruel.

Eric S. Haag, College Park