Letters to the Editor

Community Care

July 13, 2009


To the editor:

I have owned a small business for 24 years. I provide health insurance for myself, my two sons and two full-time employees. The cost increases each year without an explanation based in fact or demonstrated need that is tied to use by my insureds’ use … in other words we are healthy.

The reason why the cost escalates is due to all those people who need health insurance but cannot afford it, so instead, the costs of the uninsured are absorbed by those of us who are paying. Small business will be helped by sharing the costs across the community. We consider our costs of police for security a community cost; we consider our costs of utilities and schools a community cost. Shouldn’t we consider our cost of health care a community cost?

Support health care reform if you think it’s fair for the whole to help pay instead of the few.

Wakefield is from Lawrence


just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 8 years, 7 months ago

The single biggest boost we could give to small businesses and the self-employed would be the institution of a single-payer healthcare plan. It'd also be a big boost to any businesses now in competition with foreign companies who aren't saddled with providing extremely expensive healthcare packages the way US companies are.

gl0ck0wn3r 8 years, 7 months ago

RichardHecklerBot must be out mowing.

I'm curious... how is socialized medicine going to be cheaper if one assumes that "everyone" is paying and yet the people who can not afford insurance now will most likely not pay into a socialized program either if that program is funded via taxes?

notajayhawk 8 years, 7 months ago

"The cost increases each year without an explanation based in fact or demonstrated need that is tied to use by my insureds’ use … in other words we are healthy."

Um - you do understand how insurance works, don't you? Believe it or not, there are more people in the pool than you, your two sons, and your two employees. If you want to base premium increases on just that group of people, Margie, how much do you think your premiums will be when one of the five of you needs that $100,000 heart operation?

And, as glock already said, what kind of twisted logic are you using that leads you to believe if your rates are high because you're paying for the uninsured, then paying for the uninsured will somehow make your rates go down?

Leslie Swearingen 8 years, 7 months ago

I know, it is a darned shame that old, sick people such as myself get Medicaid which the decent hardworking people of the community are forced to pay for. Should I go sit in the corner and lower my head in shame? I am not willing to go quite yet, won't you let me live, Margie? Won't you let me live?

Richard Heckler 8 years, 7 months ago

Margie is right on target. 50 million more paying into the pie will obviously bring down the cost to all.

  • eliminates the most expensive care on the planet = emergency room treatment for non emergency situations

  • Eliminating the high dollar medical insurance spending(overhead) on what 1,500 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
  • Politicians as shareholders: http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2009/06/12/AR2009061204075.html

Richard Heckler 8 years, 7 months ago

10 Reasons to Support U.S. National Health Insurance

Written by Andrea Miller

Tuesday, 03 March 2009

Here are 10 great reasons to support HR 676, the U.S. National Health Insurance Act: http://guaranteedhealthcare4all.org/sites/default/files/10-Reasons.pdf

  1. Everybody In, Nobody Out. Universal means access to health care for everyone, period.

  2. Portability. If you are unemployed, or lose or change jobs, your health coverage stays with you.

  3. Uniform Benefits. No Cadillac plans for the wealthy and Pinto plans for everyone else, with high deductibles, limited services, caps on payments for care, and no protection in the event of a catastrophe. One level of comprehensive care for everyone, regardless of the size of your wallet.

  4. Prevention. By removing financial roadblocks, a universal health system encourages preventive care that lowers an individual's ultimate cost and pain and suffering when problems are neglected and societal cost in the over-utilization of emergency rooms or the spread of communicable diseases.

  5. Choice. Most private insurance restricts your choice of providers and hospitals. Under the U.S. National Health Insurance Act, patients have a choice, and the provider is assured a fair payment.

  6. No Interference with Care. Caregivers and patients regain their autonomy to decide what's best for a patient's health, not what's dictated by the billing department. No denial of coverage for pre-existing conditions or cancellation of policies for "unreported" minor health problems.

  7. Reducing Waste. One third of every private health insurance dollar goes for paperwork and profits, compared to about 3% under Medicare, the federal government’s universal system for senior citizen healthcare.

  8. Cost Savings. A guaranteed health care system can produce the cost savings needed to cover everyone, largely by using existing resources without the waste. Taiwan, shifting from a U.S. private health care model, adopted a similar system in 1995, boosting health coverage from 57% to 97% with little increase in overall health care spending.

  9. Common Sense Budgeting. The public system sets fair reimbursements applied equally to all providers, private and public, while assuring that appropriate health care is delivered, and uses its clout to negotiate volume discounts for prescription drugs and medical equipment.

  10. Public Oversight. The public sets the policies and administers the system, not high priced CEOs meeting in private and making decisions based on their company’s stock performance needs.

notajayhawk 8 years, 7 months ago

merrill (Anonymous) says…

"Margie is right on target. 50 million more paying into the pie will obviously bring down the cost to all."

merrill is, as usual, full of cr*pola.

I thought those 50 million were those who counldn't afford to pay for health insurance, merrill? How are they going to pay into the pot?

Or maybe those 50 million are those with pre-existing conditions - you know, those who are going to take more from the pot?

The only way adding those 50 million would help bring down costs, moron, is if they are healthy people paying premiums without requiring the payment of claims. In other words, exactly the situation the LTE writer is complaining about being in.

Get a clue. Or, more likely, keep cut-and-pasting your mindless drivel that is nothing more than delusional BS.

Have you ever really tried to have an original thought, merrill? You might actually see the inadequacies of your 'argument' if you did.

Richard Heckler 8 years, 7 months ago

The tactic is so widespread that three of every four major health-care firms have at least one former insider on their lobbying payrolls, according to The Washington Post's analysis.

Nearly half of the insiders previously worked for the key committees and lawmakers, including Sens. Max Baucus (D-Mont.) and Charles E. Grassley (R-Iowa), debating whether to adopt a public insurance option opposed by major industry groups. At least 10 others have been members of Congress, such as former House majority leaders Richard K. Armey (R-Tex.) and Richard A. Gephardt (D-Mo.), both of whom represent a New Jersey pharmaceutical firm.

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 lobbying in the current fight, according to disclosure records. And even in a city where lobbying is a part of life, the scale of the effort has drawn attention. For example, the Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America (PhRMA) doubled its spending to nearly $7 million in the first quarter of 2009, followed by Pfizer, with more than $6 million. ad_icon

The push has reunited many who worked together in government on health-care reform, but are now employed as advocates for pharmaceutical and insurance companies.

Is this anyway to spend health insurance dollars?

Kirk Larson 8 years, 7 months ago

Affordable public health coverage would do a lot to stimulate the economy. Think of the person who's tired of their job and has a great idea to start their own small business...except they or their kid have a pre-existing condition and they can't afford to quit because individual health coverage is way too expensive. Public health will make workers more flexible in where they work since they won't be stuck to their employer's plan.

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