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Letters to the Editor

Health referendum

August 25, 2009

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To the editor:

I have a suggestion. Since it is obvious Congress can’t decide what to do on health care, we should let the people decide. It should have all the options being talked about for reforming the health care system. In order to ensure an even playing field, there should be a cap on money spent on each option per state.

The options should include:

• one national single-payer system, similar to Medicare

• a multiple-choice option similar to the federal employees health care system

• a multiple-choice option similar to the federal employees health care system with a public option, similar to Medicare

• keep the system we have

What I’m suggesting is a national referendum. After the vote, Congress would have six months to pass legislation reflecting the will of the people.

How hard is it?

Comments

notajayhawk 5 years, 4 months ago

reasonmclucus (Anonymous) blogs…

"The problem in American health care isn't a lack of insurance, but the high cost of medical care. The high cost of medical care hampers the ability of individuals and their employers to pay for medical care or purchase insurance."

Oh my lord, someone gets it!

Where have you been, reasonmclucus - 33 posts in 3-1/2 years? These boards could definitely use more people that understand the root of the problem.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 5 years, 4 months ago

Yes, medical costs are part of the problem, but the fact is that of every health dollar paid into US insurance companies, at best on 80% of it pays for healthcare. In every other industrialized democracy in the world, over 90% of every healthcare dollars get spent on actual healthcare, not CEO private jets and golden parachutes.

And what's more, in these countries, while medical costs are rising just as they are here, they are still much lower than what we get from a healthcare system that has no incentive to control costs-- to the contrary, it's in their best interest for medical costs to continue increasing at twice the rate of inflation.

mr_right_wing 5 years, 4 months ago

We need to do the opposite of what is being proposed; instead of MORE government in medicine, we need LESS! I am by no means saying completely deregulate the medical industry, but if the government was to back way out it would reduce costs for individual doctors, insurance, hospitals and pharmaceutical companies. Again, I'm not saying let's just have a free-for-all in medicine--I'm saying cut some of the government red tape that makes no sense but costs each of us $$$ needs to go. ObamaCare only loads on more and more red tape! You honestly believe that our government can do anything more efficient than the private sector?! I leave you with this simple example.....FedEx/UPS vs. USPS....'nuff said.

tbaker 5 years, 4 months ago

How about we end the skewed paradigm (result of FDR's unconstitutional wage and price freezes in WWII) that says a person gets their health care from their employer? The government simply ends the tax deduction given to companies for their health care expense, and instead gives this tax deduction to individuals. At the moment, I have to rack-up over $10,000 dollars in health care costs before I can take a health care deduction on my income taxes. Think of the dynamic that would be created if individual Americans were empowered to take control of their own health insurance decisions!

How about we make health insurance "portable" by ending the state-by-state monopolies? What about tort reform to end "casino" law suites so we could bring malpractice insurance costs down?

There have been a lot of alternative ideas proposed that aren't getting any air time. Why must the debate be driven by the hopelessly flawed assumption the federal government must be providing health care for people?

lucky_guy 5 years, 4 months ago

Mr_right_wing is singing the old song. The only reason UPS or FedEX are cheaper is that there is a public option (US postal). Same thing with health care. So great example. And I wish the right wingers would quit harping on the Gov can't do anything right. I want my 401K back if that is true. It seems that the fact that Wall Street lost almost the same amount in the last year as the Federal deficit is lost on you guys.
PS it was the Gov that had to bail WS out.

hsr0601 5 years, 4 months ago

Inaction cost, $9trillion over the next decade, can not be compared to the balance between estimate and outcome in a worst case of scenario. Time does not fix endless greed and energy depletion.

When the public health is also one of commodity like a house, we come to a tragic and unthinkable conclusion : As to for-profit business, the more and longer ill patients get, the more profits they make, and it will debilitate the overall economy involving education for the future, not to mention continued bankruptcy of middle class.

Of young adults ages 19 to 29, 13.2 million, or 29 percent, lacked coverage in 2007, and that implies the total of this promising reform will be cheaper than expected, I guess.

Brent Garner 5 years, 4 months ago

Problems in health care.

One, government / insurance company collusion on prices = price controls. Price controls always reduce supply and drive up costs. Go study the efect of rent controls in New York if you don't believe me.

Two, artificial limitations/restrictions on supply via professional organizations like the AMA who have influence over how many doctor candidates get admitted to med school.

Three, a certain portion of the population just simply doesn't think they need it. So, is it right for them to be forced to buy health insurance if they don't want it? Would you like to be forced to buy something if you didn't want it?

Four, health care for the poor, i.e., those who want it but can't afford it. What is the least expensive way of solving this? For many, it might be a subsidy to help them buy health insurance. Has anyone done a study to see if the dollars spent on healthy poor people via medicaid would have been more efficiently spent by paying for a health insurance plan for each of them? Seems to me that would be a good way to leverage the tax dollars.

Five, can the government actually run this without mucking it up? Have you checked out three US gov't run healthcare programs to see how they are doing in delivering top notch healthcare at a contained and affordable cost? I am referring to Medicare, Medicaid, and the VA. All three are going broke! Why? Because they don't work they way the government wants to run them. And some of us think it would be a good idea for ALL of us to have our healthcare run by the government? What planet are you living on or are you enjoying some recreational pharmaceuticals?

GardenMomma 5 years, 4 months ago

So, what makes up the balance in the deficit for spending? Is it only taxes? Or is there another source of income? Bonds perhaps? Just want to know.

If it's only taxes and no one wants increased taxes, seems to me that the only way is to reduce spending (and borrowing) for a while.

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