Letters to the Editor

Moral duty

August 19, 2009

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To the editor:

We need the same sort of restructuring of health care that led to the creation of Medicare and Social Security. I accept the necessity for a tax increase to help pay for this. So would many others. Jesus, speaking in Matthew, says that harming the least of our brethren is the same as harming him. So failing to address the inequities in health care access isn’t just a political matter. It’s a moral obligation.

We need more than health care reform. We need individuals to take more responsibility for their health. Required physical education has been eliminated from the curricula of some schools. Given the obesity problem, how can this be? Clearly, health depends on collective and individual responsibility, so health and physical education are key.

The fiscal impact of reform could be offset if spending on war were reduced. I’m nearly 63. Except for the first years after the fall of the Berlin Wall, my generation has lived continually in fear of this or that enemy. We have spent enormous amounts in pursuit of security. Doesn’t work; we’re still anxious.

We don’t choose to whom we’re born, or where. Initial conditions, including parenting and intelligence, influence powerfully what kind of men and women we become. Some of us are extraordinarily fortunate. Others aren’t. I hope that as leaders ponder health care reform, they remain compassionate toward those whose endowments, compared with theirs, are relatively few and whose troubles are many. I hope those leaders will share from their abundance.

Comments

cato_the_elder 5 years, 8 months ago

The first sentence of this thoughtful letter refers to Social Security. Two of the most groundbreaking pieces of legislation enacted in the 20th century were Social Security in 1935, and the Civil Rights Act of 1964 (Title VII). As was emphasized recently in a national column published in this newspaper, each had the solid support of large numbers of both Democrats and Republicans. In the case of Title VII, it was supported by many Republicans and opposed primarily by Southern Democrats. The current proposal for health care "reform" being pushed by the hard left in Washington is repugnant to a great number of Americans, primarily because they don't want to create the possibility that government will ultimately dictate the medical procedures that they will be able to obtain. As was stated a few days ago by Dr. Anne Doig, the incoming President of the Canadian Medical Association, the Canadian system is "imploding." Most Americans don't want to begin the long walk down that road. Until reform proposals are put forth that do not directly contain or quietly enable a "public option" down the line, they will not garner the necessary support of the constituents of those who are considering (and, hopefully, reading) the proposed legislation. Reform the availability and delivery of health care insurance? You bet. Single-payer government health care? Fold 'em.

blessed3x 5 years, 8 months ago

"We need the same sort of restructuring of health care that led to the creation of Medicare and Social Security."

Geez, I didn't even have to try to provide proof of the governments complete inability to properly manage any social service, Mr. Martin did it for me. Thanks, Rog!

Phil Minkin 5 years, 8 months ago

I'm glad this public vs private debate didn't occur when education was being considered. No public schools, state universities or military acadamies.

Leslie Swearingen 5 years, 8 months ago

Considering what is wrote on some of these posts I don't think someone should have a hissy fit because someone wrote about Jesus. There are problems besetting our society that are very complicated, very diverse, and we must take into account individual responsibility for their actions and their lives, insofar as that person is mentally and physically capable of doing.

jafs 5 years, 8 months ago

I don't understand this "Republicans pay" nonsense.

Don't Democrats pay taxes as well?

Richard Heckler 5 years, 8 months ago

Only shareholders,medical insurance industry employees and politicians who are likely shareholders and receive political campaign money are wanting to protect the most corrupt and expensive medical insurance in the world.

The medical insurance of today is no bargain it is only a big profit tool at the expense of others misfortune.... now this is about as insensitive as it gets. Yes cancer is a big profit item and does this stink or what?

How many feel their medical insurance money should support: high dollar medical insurance spending on what 2,000 health insurers add to the actual cost of providing care: • its bureaucracy • profits • high corporate salaries • advertising over charges • sales commissions • Shareholders the primary clients of for-profit insurance companies, not patients • Special interest campaign dollars Golden parachutes Politicians as shareholders: http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2009/06/12/AR2009061204075.html

What will HR 676 and ONLY HR 676 Eliminate? Eliminates high dollar medical insurance spending on what 2,000 health insurers add to the actual cost of providing care: • its bureaucracy • profits • high corporate salaries • advertising over charges • sales commissions • Shareholders ! are the primary clients of for-profit insurance companies, not patients • Special interest campaign dollars • Golden parachutes

MeAndFannieLou 5 years, 8 months ago

Oh dear, Roger, haven't you read the new, revised (Republican) edition of the New Testament?

"For I was hungry and you said 'get a job!' I was thirsty and you said 'you'd probably just spend it on alcohol!' I was a stranger and you said 'ew get away from me!' I was naked and you had me arrested. I was sick and in prison and you said 'you should have made better choices!'"

Matthew, 25:35-36

Sigmund 5 years, 8 months ago

Where did Jesus say the government should take over health care and force their religious beliefs on non-Christians to pay for Christians health care? What other biblical commandments and Jesusisms do you want force upon non-believers?

Richard Heckler 5 years, 8 months ago

While UK may have socialized medicine the USA has that available in the military. Socialized medicine is NOT a topic of discussion or on THE table. The problem in the USA is very very expensive medical insurance that politicans/shareholders are trying to protect at OUR EXPENSE.

How many medically insured believe that this is good use of medical insurance dollars? In the end won't this actually INCREASE the cost of insurance for 2010?

INDUSTRY LOBBYING AGAINST MEDICIAL INSURANCE REFORM AT A RECORD BREAKING $1.4 MILLION HEALTH CARE INSURANCE DOLLARS A DAY

PART OF THIS $1.4 MILLION HEALTH CARE/INSURANCE DOLLARS A DAY IS LIKELY FUNDING THE VOCAL DISRUPTIONS SO PEOPLE ARE GETTING PAID TO DISRUPT.

THESE SAME $1.4 MILLION HEALTH CARE DOLLARS A DAY COULD SUPPLY 519 FAMILIES OF FOUR FULL COVERAGE MEDICARE INSURANCE EACH DAY THIS RECKLESS SPENDING TAKES PLACE. BY THE TIME THIS RECKLESS SPENDING IS OVER APPROXIMATELY 20,000 FAMILIES OF FOUR COULD HAVE FULL COVERAGE INSURANCE UNDER THE NEW HR 676 MEDICARE INSURANCE FOR ALL

Why is the health care industry buying MORE POLITICIANS and why are legislators selling out?

Health Care Industry and Congress -- We're on to You, and We're not Going to Take It Anymore

Former Lawmakers and Congressional Staffers Hired to Lobby. The hirings are part of a record-breaking influence campaign by the health-care industry, which is spending more than $1.4 million a day on ANTI INSURANCE REFORM lobbying.

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2009/07/05/AR2009070502770.html

http://www.commoncause.org/site/apps/nlnet/content2.aspx?c=dkLNK1MQIwG&b=4773613&ct=7146131

http://www.opensecrets.org/news/2009/06/diagnosis-reform.html

Richard Heckler 5 years, 8 months ago

This is how Rep John Conyers perceives HR 676 aka Medicare Insurance for All. Which is the most comprehensive,fiscally responsible and would be a great help in making millions of jobs a reality in america.

So what would the new HR 676 Medicare For ALL Insurance offer to americans? 365 days a year,24/7,employed or not,moving on to a new job or not,single mom or not,struck down with cancer or not?

What would a new HR 676 Medicare Insurance Plan cover 365 days a year 24/7?

A family of four making the median income of $56,200 would pay about $2,700 in payroll tax for all health care costs. About $225 per month. Today the below insurance coverage actually costs about $1,100 per month going to about $1,500 in 2010.

  • long term care such that cancer would require
  • prescription drugs
  • hospital
  • surgical
  • outpatient services
  • primary and preventive care
  • emergency services
  • dental
  • mental health
  • home health
  • physical therapy
  • rehabilitation (including for substance abuse)
  • vision care
  • hearing services including hearing aids
  • chiropractic
  • durable medical equipment
  • palliative care

Again a family of four making the median income of $56,200 would pay about $2,700 in payroll tax for all health care costs. About $225 per month. Today the above insurance coverage actually costs about $1,100 per month.

HR 676 ends deductibles and co-payments. If a deductible and/or co-pay policy is in effect this usually indicates under-insured.

HR 676 would save hundreds of billions annually by eliminating the high overhead of the private health insurance industry and HMOs. The privatized medical insurance industry is anything but efficient.

HR 676 contains costs and saves about $350,000,000,000 annually.

Sigmund 5 years, 8 months ago

MeAndFannieLou (Anonymous) says… "Oh dear, Roger, haven't you read the new, revised (Republican) edition of the New Testament?"

Let be clear no where did Jesus say you should have government force everyone to follow his teachings. He clearly said, if YOU believe in Him, YOU should do those things, not force others to do them for you.

staff04 5 years, 8 months ago

Turning to the morality argument is reform supporters' way of saying, "we grossly overestimated the intelligence of our fellow Americans."

Facts and reason didn't work, so let's pull a book from the 1996-2008 Republican playbook and tell 'em what god wants them to do.

staff04 5 years, 8 months ago

*page...

Lest Kevin appear and tear my post apart by defining and then deconstructing the definition of the word "book" and giving us the entire etymology in his argument that books are clearly the liberal media's tools to control us. And Bill Clinton.

Stuart Evans 5 years, 8 months ago

i wouldn't be so afraid of the government reforming a program, if i didn't have so many examples of how they will end up raping the program and creating more bureaucrats.

This 1 trillion dollar fix will end up costing 3 times that much easily. they've never fixed anything, they merely sustain a problem for maximum profitability.

and no, i do not support paying a little more in taxes. for anything. ever again!

MeAndFannieLou 5 years, 8 months ago

Actually, Jesus didn't say half of what was attributed to him in any version (republican or otherwise) of the New Testament. He mainly went around predicting the imminent apocalypse.

Separation of church and state? Hell yeah, I'm all for it.

I was just pointing out Republican heartlessness.

Sigmund 5 years, 8 months ago

MeAndFannieLou (Anonymous) says… "I was just pointing out Republican heartlessness."

And I was just pointing up Democratic greed and heartlessness.

bankboy119 5 years, 8 months ago

"Actually, Jesus didn't say half of what was attributed to him in any version (republican or otherwise) of the New Testament. He mainly went around predicting the imminent apocalypse."

Haha please, go on....I would also say that The Crusades never happened, Rome never existed, and witch hunts never took place....but I think the evidence speaks for itself. If you want to post false information the least you could do is post some reference to the comment backing up your beliefs.

MeAndFannieLou 5 years, 8 months ago

Oh, yeah, right, because Democrats don't pay taxes - I forgot about that!

MeAndFannieLou 5 years, 8 months ago

"The Evolution of God" by Robert Wright "Misquoting Jesus" by Bart D. Ehrman

To name two sources off the top of my head.

But of course, anyone I name you'll probably just dismiss out of hand as a "far-left loon."

Sigmund 5 years, 8 months ago

MeAndFannieLou (Anonymous) says… "Oh, yeah, right, because Democrats don't pay taxes - I forgot about that!"

No, because they envy those that make a dollar more than they do and insist that the dollar be taken from who earned it and then spent on them.

MeAndFannieLou 5 years, 8 months ago

Oh I see, because Democrats are all poor people and Republicans are all rich people. No Democrats would be subject to higher taxes and no Republicans would benefit from any social programs.

Thank you, I didn't know that.

Sigmund 5 years, 8 months ago

MeAndFannieLou (Anonymous) says… "Oh I see, because Democrats are all poor people and Republicans are all rich people. No Democrats would be subject to higher taxes and no Republicans would benefit from any social programs."

I said none of that, just "And I was just pointing up Democratic greed and heartlessness" to your "I was just pointing out Republican heartlessness.” But at least your off of your Marxist deconstructionist of the Gospels, something you don't even believe in. Gospel that is, not Marxism.

Bob Hechlor 5 years, 8 months ago

Nothing like a bogus stereotype of people belonging or voting with the democratic party. Must be a repubnothinklican.

Sunny Parker 5 years, 8 months ago

Always looking for a handout and wanting others to pay for it! Take care of yourself!

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