To read David C. Wilcox's July 5 letter about “Obamacare,” one would think that the U.S. Constitution consists entirely of the common third-grade retort, “It's a free country — I can do what I want!” Yes, America was founded upon the principle of liberty — and of justice, rights, responsibilities, equal opportunity and compassion for one's fellow humanity.

I was raised in La Cañada, and am grateful for the many benefits that growing up in such a place provided (including a wonderful school system in which I learned the importance of nuanced thinking on complex issues). But La Cañada is also sometimes criticized by its less-affluent neighbors as being a “bubble,” where the concerns of the common folk on the outside are often disregarded.

This kind of thinking was on display in Mr. Wilcox's letter. I am genuinely glad that his “top-notch insurance” helped him to survive so many dire health situations. I also think there is something right and just to hope that those less-wealthy citizens who cannot afford gold-plated insurance plans would have access to some kind of insurance.

The Affordable Care Act is certainly not without its flaws, but I think that it is a step in the right direction. It is ludicrous, irresponsible and small-minded to state that the act will make “our liberty die.”

Would it not be more efficient to move toward being a society that allows all citizens access to basic healthcare before preventable conditions worsen and drive them to emergency rooms that are legally and ethically obliged to treat even impecunious patients? Or perhaps we should repeal not only ‘Obamacare,' but the Hippocratic Oath as well — based as it is not on sound American liberty, but on failed Greek fiscal policy.

I hope that Obama wins reelection in November; I have a number of wise and fair-minded Republican friends who are hoping for a Romney victory. Either way, I urge everyone with the ability to think to consider the nuances of how different policies will affect the society at large, even outside of whatever bubble you happen to inhabit. Because the greatest threat to American liberty is not one party or another being in control of Congress and the White House, but thinking that parroted, party-line hyperbole represents actual, rational thought.

Darren M. Pollock

La Cañada Flintridge