Letters to the Editor

Insurance support

March 12, 2009

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To the editor:

Instead of profiting off of ill health, why not national health insurance, considering the fact that 47-50 million Americans go without health insurance.

HR 676 national health insurance is the only new idea on the table, and it protects all citizens from unfortunate economic mishap. HR 676 would include every person for all necessary medical care including prescription drugs, hospital, surgical, outpatient services, primary and preventive care, emergency services, dental, mental health, home health, physical therapy, rehabilitation (including substance abuse) vision care, hearing aids, chiropractic, durable medical equipment, palliative care and long-term care.

For all this, a family of four making a median income of $56,200 would pay about $2,700 in payroll tax.

Physicians for a National Health Program is a nonprofit research and education group of medical students and professionals supporting this single payer HR 676. We deserve no less.

Mary M. Blythe,
Lawrence

Comments

Godot 6 years, 2 months ago

Payroll tax? How many will pay nothing for their health care because they are unemployed? How many health insurance workers will be added to the rolls of the unemployed when .gov puts the insurance companies out of business? If the average health insurance cost is now over $10,000 per family, how can the government insure everyone (including those not willing to pay anything for health insurance) for one-third of the cost? Are the docs, hospitals and pharmas willing to cut their fees by 2/3 to accomplish this?

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 6 years, 2 months ago

"Payroll tax? How many will pay nothing for their health care because they are unemployed?"

Depends on the unemployment rate, doesn't it? But under the current system, if someone gets sick, they'll get some sort of medical care, but only after it becomes critical, hard-to-treat, and very expensive, and guess who picks up the tab for that?

"How many health insurance workers will be added to the rolls of the unemployed when .gov puts the insurance companies out of business?"

If they aren't serving any useful purpose, what difference does it make if they draw unemployment benefits rather than a salary for doing nothing?

"If the average health insurance cost is now over $10,000 per family, how can the government insure everyone (including those not willing to pay anything for health insurance) for one-third of the cost?"

You already partially answered your own question. Take away $multimillion compensation packages for execs, and inflated drug prices and you've got another couple of pieces to the answer.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 6 years, 2 months ago

"Keep your socialized medicine."

If it's a Canadian style system, a single-payer plan would not "socialize" medicine. Doctors and medical clinics there run private practices. The only difference is that they only have to deal with one insurance entity, not dozens.

Confrontation 6 years, 2 months ago

I'm ready for this to be passed. Many of you who are against it will one day thank the gov for passing it. When your body is filled with cancer, I bet you'll be glad this is in place. Your insurance won't cover all the costs associated with cancer treatments or anything else. Unless you have millions in the bank, you won't be protected from filing bankruptcy due to medical bills. There are many hard-working Americans who have their lives ruined by illness.

KatWrangler 6 years, 2 months ago

Liberty_One (Anonymous) says…

So the current insurance industry doesn't already?

thepartimarshall 6 years, 2 months ago

It would be nice if there wasn't so much complaining about unemployment and someone doing something about helping thier fellow man ,woman no matter what they are or where they are from. Thank you.

Richard Heckler 6 years, 2 months ago

One good aspect of National Health Insurance is lower costs may prevail. Why? Doctors,hospitals and clinics will no longer be eating the cost of those who have no means. Therefore no reason to pass on the cost to others.

Ain't no mooching to it cuz it ain't free. Where did anybody get that idea?

Also citizens in the USA lose medical coverage when they lose jobs which does not happen in other countries.

Every 30 seconds someone in the USA files bankruptcy due to medical care. This does not happen in other countries.

HR 676 National Health Insurance provides coverage no matter what 24/7.

Petition for H.R. 676, the "Medicare For All" Bill introduced by Rep. John Conyers http://www.democrats.com/single-payer-petition

Richard Heckler 6 years, 2 months ago

Prescription Drugs and the K Street Payoff "Uniquely in the industrialized world, our government does not regulate the pharmaceutical industry rather the pharmaceutical industry regulates the government, which is why Americans pay by far the highest prices in the world for the medicines they need.

Richard Heckler 6 years, 2 months ago

Health Insurance industry wants the government to assume the cost of treating the sickest.

It wants the government to clamp down hard on doctors' and hospitals' fees.

And it wants permission to offer stripped-down, low-benefit policies freed from pesky state regulations limiting their premiums.

gl0ck0wn3r 6 years, 2 months ago

"Lil' Dickie Heckler (Anonymous) says… One good aspect of National Health Insurance is lower costs may prevail. Why? Doctors,hospitals and clinics will no longer be eating the cost of those who have no means. Therefore no reason to pass on the cost to others."

Surely you jest? Of course costs will be passed onto others - that is how socialized medicine works, prole. Passing the cost is fundamental to the system you advocate, it is simply done in different ways.

camper 6 years, 2 months ago

We're all just one job loss away from not having earned the right to medical care. One pink slip away from not deserving the mortgage you signed. One termination away from making that apartment lease an un-wise decision.

Richard Heckler 6 years, 2 months ago

HR 676 National Health Insurance makes americans more employable opens doors for small business ventures,makes healthcare greener by reduction in paper use thus saving energy by the kilowatt hour times who knows how many.

What could possibly be more middleclass american? Providing americans with the choice of National Health Insurance.

Let’s move into this plan slowly. Why not go into this matter that leaves the choice open to citizens. This program could begin by moving all of the following into the program and bringing those tax dollars with them. • everyone on social security and their dependents • all disabled veterans • all Iraq/Afghanistan veterans • all government employees including active duty military stationed stateside • all currently uninsured

What this approach does is leave open the choice for all others to either make the change or continue with their current insurance provider. Thus removing any confrontation with insurance providers.

Face it an HR 676 will save large amounts of tax dollars on all federal employees,vets and those currently uninsured.

Are Americans ready for HR 676? Of course they are. No doubt millions more will sign on once an HR 676 is put in place.

Not only that HR 676 makes all Americans more employable. Not to mention the opportunity it creates for new small business ventures. So many would not venture off to becoming a small business entrepreneur due to the cost of maintaining insurance for their families so now opportunity knocks. Now we're talking long term economic growth for americans by way of long term employment.

Employers should not be forced to pay up. There are enough tax dollars available in the USA to cover the cost easily: 60% of insured are covered with taxes = a big slice of the pie Cut subsidies going to very wealthy industries = Another sizeable slice of the pie. Let's get them off welfare! Instead have those tax dollars care for americans thus attracting industry and new jobs at the same time which creates new economic growth. Cut defense budget 25%-50% = a healthy slice of the pie Implement 1 cent sales tax to supplement. This is one sales tax that would pay back to every taxpayer and their local community. What a great way to bring tax dollars home.

*WHY wouldn't TAXPAYERS want the choice to useTHEIR tax dollars to cover the expense of THEIR own medical insurance? What in the world is wrong with that? What could be more american? Make HR 676 available to all taxpayers and let them make the choice.

Richard Heckler 6 years, 2 months ago

My tax dollars could be used to pay my medical bills. What better use of my tax dollars could there be?

Jason Bailey 6 years, 2 months ago

I have this crazy idea for founding a nation on the tenets of Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness and declaring my personal independence from a despotic government that is taxing me to death.

Whoever joins me in this Great Experiment of a government for the people, of the people, and by the people will enjoy freedom which brings with it personal responsibility in choice. There will be no entitlements because there will be no income tax -- just excise taxes to provide for the basic infrastructure of the fledgling nation.

We'll craft a bill of rights which will be focused on limiting government power and fully empowering the individual. The net result will be that the government will be frightened of the people, not the other way around.

Ultimately, on the question of health care, people will be responsible for providing for their needs because that's a basic fundamental of our new nation's principles.

I'm thinking of calling the new nation "The Liberated and Free of Socialists States of America". Oh wait, everything I've outlined is already in existence in our Constitution? Then how'd we get to a place where a citizen thinks the concept contained in this LTE is even remotely close to fitting into our framework? Perhaps Mary missed her opportunity in history to move to Moscow circa 1955.

gl0ck0wn3r 6 years, 2 months ago

"Lil' Dickie Heckler (Anonymous) babbled… My tax dollars could be used to pay my medical bills. What better use of my tax dollars could there be?"

How about removing the middle man and just paying for your own medical bills without the government if this is the system you want? Seriously, make up your mind... and while you are at it, learn how to use the comma.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 6 years, 2 months ago

"Oh, you mean like the additional $510 a month in taxes the Wisconsin single-payer system is going to cost every worker in that state? "

I'll take this at face value, Pilgrim, even though you lack the credibility to deserve that. But just for arguments sake, how much will a worker in that state save from insurance premiums, keeping in mind the $500 doesn't get you much in the way of private insurance?

Richard Heckler 6 years, 2 months ago

Why should I not have MY tax pay MY medical bills rather than allow my tax dollars to float around making bombs,funding pharmaceutical R&D,killing people in the mideast etc etc.

Having MY tax dollars Pay my medical expenses is using MY money. HR 676 removes the middle person which makes it fiscally responsible.

So long as my tax dollars are going to Washington,D.C. they may as well pay for medical insurance.

Why are so many against choice of taxpayers that does not exist today?

WHY shouldn't TAXPAYERS have the right to useTHEIR tax dollars to cover the expense of THEIR own medical insurance?

Richard Heckler 6 years, 2 months ago

Want to reduce USD 497 spending? Want to reduce city and county government spending? Want to reduce state spending?

Medical Insurance requires a mountain of tax dollars.

Lets demand that congress move all levels of government employees to National Health Insurance.

Here's a plan: HR 676 National Health Insurance is the only equitable approach that includes all of us.

HR 676 would cover every person for all necessary medical care including 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, and long term care.

A family of four making the median income of $56,200 would pay about $2,700 in payroll tax for all health care costs.

HR 676 ends deductibles and co-payments. HR 676 would save hundreds of billions annually by eliminating the high overhead and profits of the private health insurance industry and HMOs.

gl0ck0wn3r 6 years, 2 months ago

"Lil' Dickie Heckler (Anonymous) rambled incoherently… Why should I not have MY tax pay MY medical bills rather than allow my tax dollars to float around making bombs,funding pharmaceutical R&D,killing people in the mideast etc etc."

Learn how to use the comma. It is your friend. I assume that if you advocate an ala carte approach to taxation that you'd also support people not funding projects they do not support? For example, why should my tax dollars pay for road improvements in East Lawrence? I'd also rather not spend my money on sidewalks I don't use and I really would rather not fund the T. So how about it?

bevy 6 years, 2 months ago

Well, I don't know how much money ya'll have, but my husband's heart attack care for one week cost $100,000. There is no way we could ever pay that off. He was 29 years old at the time and had a rare tumor that caused him to throw blood clots. So we did heart attack, then major abdominal surgery and recovery. Thank God St. Luke's had a charitable program (funded by legacies people left to the hospital) to allow them to write their portion off. He still had to declare bankruptcy on what was left, since the surgery was done at LMH and they couldn't write everything off. He was working for a small company at the time, and was in his 90 day wait for health insurance. He had always had insurance before, but couldn't afford the exhorbitant cost of COBRA coverage, and so was not covered for 90 days. He is a blue-collar worker and does his 40 hours a week - so he's not a moocher.

Because of this, his credit is shot for 10 years. Creditors make no distinction between medical bankruptcies and those filed by people who have irresponsibly run up credit card debt shopping for stuff they don't need.

I don't know what the answer is for this problem - but I know we need to do SOMETHING. Expecting individuals to pay for their own healthcare is just not a reasnable solution. This will cause people to skip their regular maintenance care and only go to the ER when they have a major problem.

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