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Letters to the Editor

Pressing need

November 11, 2009

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To the editor:

While the passage of Health Care Reform in the House is historic and we need to thank our local representatives for their support, the job is not finished. Part of the problem is those of us that are out of work need health care now, not months from now. The COBRA provision in the ARRA bill needs to be extended before the end of the year so that those of us that are out of work can stay insured until jobs are available with health insurance.

It’s sad that Congress thinks you can afford $1,039 per month for COBRA when not working or as in my case pay $1,504 per month for private health insurance due to my age. Congress needs to help us now because no matter what comes out of Congress over the next weeks or months will not help us now!

Comments

notajayhawk 5 years, 1 month ago

"Congress needs to help us now because no matter what comes out of Congress over the next weeks or months will not help us now!"

What's coming out of Congress is a public option that will cost even more than private insurance, Jerry. And still cost the rest of us (that are still paying taxes) over a trillion dollars. Make sure to thank your local representative for that.

Jimo 5 years, 1 month ago

"What's coming out of Congress is a public option that will cost even more than private insurance" thanks to nota and his ilk who have done everything possible to stand in the way of better solutions.

Just last week - at the 11th hour - the GOP finally put forward their own bill. What was the cost? Per the CBO, even MORE than the Dems bill. What did it achieve? Per the CBO, next to nothing. For those pesky 'pre-existing conditions' (you know, being raped, being a policeman, having acne, etc.), it set up separate 'high risk' insurance pools, which SURPRISE still allowed exclusions for these conditions and cost more than any other conceivable insurance coverage would cost.

Wait, there's more! Since no one would be able to afford this, the GOP was willing to offer up a smidgen of public assistance to help pay the private insurers for this 'high risk' insurance. Or, in other words, pad the pockets of the insurance companies so they could pay even more in bribes to the GOP. Genius!!

Richard Heckler 5 years, 1 month ago

Some out scream that the new insurance on the table will add a trillion dollars to the budget. That is probably correct because the insurance industry is controlling the design and maintaining the insurance policies.

However what these people are doing is pushing no change which will in fact increase the cost of insurance by about 25% or a trillion dollars. 2010 costs for insurance that will cover all of YOUR expenses no matter what looks like $18,310 annually. So if one has insurance that now costs $1,500 a month should figure in an increase of about 25%.

However there is one proposal out there that does NOT increase coverage cost by 25% or $1 trillion dollars. That proposal is National Health Insurance sponsored by 86 house members. It is being ignored to a large degree. Why you ask?

Because it eliminates the insurance industry thus eliminating elected officials as share holders,thus eliminates special interest campaign money,thus eliminates golden parachutes thus is eliminating the most expensive medical insurance industry on the planet.

Not only that Nationa/ Health Insurance provides a reduction of cost in the amount of $400 billion dollars annually according to the CBO. National Health Insurance provides coverage 24/7 no matter what.

IF a person and their employer cannot afford one of those $18,310 policies consider anything other coverage as under insured. Being under insured puts any family one major cancer problem away from bankruptcy. Welcome to the working under insured. Read more: http://www.consumeraffairs.com/news04/2005/bankruptcy_study.html#ixzz0IQKZLHHh&C

Richard Heckler 5 years, 1 month ago

Let ME pay for National Health Insurance with MY tax dollars for MY National Health insurance.

Here's the deal. National Health Insurance is not a free ride and never will be perhaps with few exceptions.

You see my tax dollars will pay for my portion therefore no one else would be paying for MY National Health Insurance coverage. A 3.3% payroll tax is doable.

However if you listen to the republican party NOT and Max Baucus you would be led to believe that MY tax dollars are not MY tax dollars. How can that be?

The fact that National Health Insurance would come from the rather substantial tax dollar cookie jars simply means that no monthly or weekly deductions would come out of my pay check per se..

Since federal, state, and local governments collect trillions in taxes of all kinds—income, sales, property, corporate etc etc this is how medical bills would be paid as it is now.

You see as we speak OUR tax dollars support medical insurance payments to the tune of at least $1.2 trillion which is quite a insurance industry gravy train I'd say. Next year this number will increase by changing nothing and not passing the National Health Insurance Act.

In essence MY tax dollar amount to pay MY portion of National Health Insurance would be about $2700 annually for the entire family.

What coverage would this buy the family:

long term care such that cancer demands 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

A good deal that would free up more expendable cash to be spent elsewhere thus creating new jobs. Things like birthdays,christmas,home improvements,investments would benefit and perhaps would allow the purchase of a super fuel efficient automobile( notice gas prices increasing).

Social Security and Medicare are two very smart insurance plans

National Health Insurance http://www.healthcare-now.org/

Doctors for Single Payer http://www.pnhp.org/

Unions for HR 676 http://unionsforsinglepayerhr676.org/union_endorsers

Organizations and Government Bodies Endorsing HR 676 http://www.pnhp.org/action/organizations_and_government_bodies_endorsing_hr_676.php

Health Care In the USA http://www.dollarsandsense.org/healthcare.html

commuter 5 years, 1 month ago

Merrill belives if you say the same thing over and aover and over and over and over and over that people will belive you. Yep Merrill belives in brainswashing. Maybe he should spend more time working or being outside and less time cutting and poasting the same thing over and over and over and over and over and over and over.

Chris Ogle 5 years, 1 month ago

Has anyone ever read a complete Merril post??

That would make a good LJW poll...

grimpeur 5 years, 1 month ago

Jimo gets the cigar. It's insurance companies that are the problem. GOP has run out ouf ideas, so they just criticize any other plan.

The fix will be expensive. But cheap compared to doing nothing.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 5 years, 1 month ago

"Merrill belives if you say the same thing over and aover and over and over and over and over that people will belive you.Yep Merrill belives in brainswashing. "

Are you saying that you believe Merrill because you've been "brainwashed" by his posts?''

Or are you saying that you have no intelligent response to the considerable amount of information supplied in his posts, and thus resort to whining about them?

parrothead8 5 years, 1 month ago

TomShewmon (Tom Shewmon) says…

For once I agree with liberals (not saying Kemberling is a liberal) but when it comes to the point where we expect a government solution/handout for any shortfall in our personal lives, there most definitely is something fundamentally wrong with America.

And I say...for once I agree with Tom.

avoice 5 years, 1 month ago

Why can't we keep the "private" component of health care services but eliminate the "profit" component? For example, we have a lot of private schools in this country that are non-profit. The principals or head masters of those schools make good salaries, as do the teachers, but they do not enjoy big bonuses for being able to overcharge their "customers" (the students/parents). And they don't have a group of investors hungrily scooping up some of those profits for themselves.

mr_right_wing 5 years, 1 month ago

Not one single 'supporter' of health control has answered this question (perhaps because there is no answer...)

If this plan (for complete government control) is so extrordinary, why doesn't Obama & company set the example and not make themselves examp from it?? If it is supposed to be good enough for "us" why shouldn't it be good enough for "them"?

.....and still only silence from the left....

Richard Heckler 5 years, 1 month ago

Health care services would remain private. There is no movement to change that. People against smart National Health Insurance keep saying nonsense.

The insurance industry is a middle man that does nothing but take billions upon billions of consumer dollars and makes a handsome profit ANNNNNNNNND gets in the way of health care services. The USA does not need this arm of the insurance industry.

National Health Insurance could easily be implemented through the existing Medicare Insurance system. This would save big big bucks by NOT reinventing the wheel which fiscally responsible thinking. National Health Insurance would eliminate deductibles and co-pays thus consumers have more expendable cash.

Medicare Insurance would be upgraded to meet this demand:

long term care such that cancer demands 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

Richard Heckler 5 years, 1 month ago

The Marilyn Clement Healthcare Justice Fund.

This fund will allow several local coalitions affiliated with Healthcare-NOW to select youth interns to work with them. Healthcare-NOW will provide funds to pay a stipend to each intern, and will provide the initial orientation and training.

The interns recruited via this memorial will be part of Marilyn's legacy, bringing new energy and passion to our movement. They will join hands with all of us who are dedicated to win guaranteed and comprehensive health care for every U.S. resident, cradle to grave.

Marilyn Clement – June 30, 1935 to August 3, 2009 http://www.healthcare-now.org/marilyn-clement/

Satirical 5 years, 1 month ago

I would also like to thank our Representatives for voting on legislation that was not viewable by the public 72 hours prior to the vote as originally promised.

parrothead8 5 years, 1 month ago

mr_right_wing (Anonymous) says… If this plan (for complete government control) is so extrordinary, why doesn't Obama & company set the example and not make themselves examp from it?? If it is supposed to be good enough for “us” why shouldn't it be good enough for “them”?

Another question: If the need for health care reform is so pressing (as the Republicans obviously agree, for they forwarded their own plan), why didn't Bush, Inc. do anything about it during the eight years they were in the White House?

notajayhawk 5 years, 1 month ago

grimpeur (Anonymous) says…

"Jimo gets the cigar. It's insurance companies that are the problem."

Uh huh.

The average hospital makes about the same in profits than the average health plan. ('Not-for-profit' LMH had revenues in excess of expenditures of almost twice that.) But that's okay, right, grimpie?

I almost wish this legislation would pass, just to see who the liberal loons go after next when they figure out insurance wasn't the problem.

SettingTheRecordStraight 5 years, 1 month ago

"Congress needs to help us..."

This mentaility is what's wrong with our country.

Mel Briscoe 5 years, 1 month ago

COBRA sucks and truly needs to be revised. i used to work in human resources and i noticed that hardly anyone opted for it. my mom had to when she retired at the age of 62 because she has pre-existing conditions and wouldn't have been able to purchase private insurance herself.

Flap Doodle 5 years, 1 month ago

Hot Demo on Demo action: http://www.politico.com/news/stories/1109/29385.html

BTW, what's the difference between HR 676 and a peach pit lodged in a mandrill's bowels? The peach pit has a chance of being passed.

jafs 5 years, 1 month ago

mr. right wing,

In fact, the insurance "exchange" being proposed is modeled on the plan Congress gets - that's where the idea came from.

Jason Bailey 5 years, 1 month ago

Jerry Kemberling writes, "Whine, wimper, sniffle...big government, take me away! Blah, sob, sniff...take others' money and give it to me now!"

Talk about a myopic view of the world. It's not all about you, Mr. Kemberling. If you had your way, according to your LTE, you'd flush the futures of our children down the drain with yet ANOTHER inefficient and unsustainable entitlement program when the current programs (Medicare/SS) are destined for financial bankruptcy.

Germany had it easy paying reparations to the Allies after Versailles compared to what our kids will have to pay in taxes to keep our debt afloat. Can you please think big picture for once?

Jason Bailey 5 years, 1 month ago

@SettingTheRecordStraight: Amen to that! Individual responsibility is an antiquated concept. Everyone wants a pacifier from big, daddy govt.

mr_right_wing 5 years, 1 month ago

There can be a huge difference between "modeled" and "the same thing". You can build yourself a model race car, but it's not going to help you win at Indy.

But if you're going to say it's a really really close model, why exempt themselves? Let's just have one system for all. After all, isn't that what socialism is about anyway?

Thanks for taking a shot at an answer.....the plan is not good enough for me it's not good enough for you; and obviously it's not good enough for them.

Kirk Larson 5 years, 1 month ago

mr wrong wing The mantra that's been spoken over and over again is "If you are satisfied with your current health plan, you won't be required to change a thing". That goes for reps and senators as well, although I wouldn't mind them setting a good example and using the public option if they like. The President (whatever party) should have the best freakin' plan possible including his personal physician. I don't want him calling in sick.

BlackVelvet 5 years, 1 month ago

The government needs to stay OUT of our health issues. Any program run by the federal government is a model of inefficiency. Whatever happened to folks who had no money getting a "medical card" (i.e. welfare) for pressing medical needs?

notajayhawk 5 years, 1 month ago

edjayhawk (Anonymous) says…

"Shouldn't have had a war and we would have plenty of money to spend on healthcare."

Coulda'-shoulda'-woulda. We did. Get over it. In any event, this is the best logic you can come up with, eddie - we already wasted money so let's waste another trillion or so?

Well, perhaps if you had bothered to keep yourself informed on this issue - the CBO evaluated that premiums for the public option are likely to be higher than premiums for private insurance. Please do try to keep up.

notajayhawk 5 years, 1 month ago

edjayhawk (Anonymous) says…

"The study had some positive news for the robust public option tied to Medicare rates. The public option would on average have premiums 11 percent cheaper than private insurance and the public option would end up also making private insurance cheaper."

Having more than a passing familiarity with CMS, thanks, but I'll take the word of the CBO. CMS is a department of the Department of Health and Human Services, and ultimately under the control of our dear Kathy. And you expected them to say what?

And of course a plan tied to Medicare rates would be cheaper - if providers would accept it. Have you noticed there are fewer and fewer providers accepting Medicare? The CBO estimate takes into account the likely scenario where the bulk of those who choose the public option would be those who are currently uninsurable, and therefor costs will be higher than for private insurers with a more diverse pool. Incidentally, the polls support this assumption - although most favor the existence of a public option, very few would actually choose it.

jafs 5 years, 1 month ago

Actually, nota, by the time the public option would be available, private insurers would be prohibited from turning down individuals or making them pay higher rates, from what I've read.

So the distribution shouldn't be that skewed.

The point about Medicare is very important - there need to be enough doctors, etc. who take it (and a public option, if we have one) to make those usable programs.

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