Letters to the Editor

Pro-life plan

November 29, 2009


To the editor:

A government-run health insurance option is pro-life. Tens of thousands of Americans die each year because they had no health coverage. Children need healthy parents. Parents need jobs. Jobs need healthy workers. An ethical society cares for its sick and injured, the unborn and the born. Eliminating profit-driven costs and administrative overhead of for-profit health insurance would save enough money to cover all Americans and cost less than we are currently spending. The economic and societal costs of unhealthy Americans are already too high. The U.S. is the only industrialized country which does not put people before health insurance company profits.

Anti-abortion advocates and government-run not-for-profit health insurance are both pro-life. These need to work together. Americans need to take personal responsibility and refuse the private health insurance monopoly, which profits from denying our health care. We also need to honor concerns that our taxes not be used for abortion in government-run health insurance. One way would be like the check-off for the presidential election campaign on our federal income tax. On the tax return, the taxpayer could choose — or NOT choose — to donate an amount ($1?) to fund legal abortion in a national/public health insurance option. Money left over from this fund could be moved to adoption services through agencies like Catholic Charities or others.

If an expectant mother knows she lives in a nation which values life above profit, I believe she is less likely to choose abortion.


labmonkey 8 years, 4 months ago

Yea...those Medicare cuts are pro-life.

tomatogrower 8 years, 4 months ago

Excellent plan, but it will never go over in Washington. It makes sense and is a compromise. That's not allowed in Washington. Everyone must think like I do, or like I do, or me, like me.

grimpeur 8 years, 4 months ago

Thank you, Ms. Grieb, for your thoughtful and sensible letter. This proposal, like most Americans, is pro-life and pro-choice.

Quiet 8 years, 4 months ago

Smart, kind, generous, respectful.

Carol, have you considered a role in public service? I'd love to hear more of your ideas.

rtwngr 8 years, 4 months ago

Private insurance companies do not deny healthcare. They deny insurance coverage. They are not the same things. The statement that "Tens of thousands of Americans die each year because they have no health coverage" is also not true.

Anyone can get medical treatment if they need it. State hospitals in the State of Kansas cannot deny treatment if you need it. You may wind up owing money but you will get treatment. What America does not have is "free" healthcare. That is really what the liberals want. The problem is nothing is free.

Save your breath on the pro life argument. Any plan that provides tax money for abortion is not pro life. All rights are illusory if first the right to life is not guaranteed.

weeslicket 8 years, 4 months ago

"All rights are illusory if .... fill in the blank."

Richard Heckler 8 years, 4 months 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 the government tax dollars support medical insurance payments to the tune of at least $1.2 trillion which is quite a gravy train I'd say. Next year this 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,taking better care of my lover and investments would benefit.

Social Security and Medicare are two very smart insurance plans.

Richard Heckler 8 years, 4 months ago

"Americans need to take personal responsibility and refuse the private health insurance monopoly, which profits from denying our health care." Absolutely !!!

The insurance industry does deny healthcare when they refuse to pay because a clients policy will not provide a treatment aka under insured.

WE NEED health insurance that covers all of us equally 24/7 not based how much we afford the " middle man" that which does not provide health care.

At $18,310 each for 2010 that comes to about $10,986,000 just for legislators medical insurance.

Face it folks $11 million is a lot of money for a selected few. Under National Health Insurance that number could be reduced to $1,800,000 or a savings of about $9 million. National Health Insurance reduces the cost to about $3,000 - 3500 a year.

BTW National Health Insurance and the public option ARE NOT THE SAME AT ALL. The public option was designed by the insurance industry.

Richard Heckler 8 years, 4 months ago

Pres Obama: Your public option tramples on Women's Rights....it will not work

Democratic Representative Bart Stupak amendment circumvents Roe VS Wade according to Nat'l Organization for Women and the California Nurses Assoc

Yes they have read the Public Option through and through.


How can this be a Public Option IF USA citizens are mandated to buy insurance?

Isn't this a protection of the most expensive medical insurance industry profits bill?

Matters to think about.

The majority of both sides of the aisle are being dishonest with the taxpaying voters on this matter.

NOW Opposes Health Care Bill That Strips Millions of Women of Abortion Access: Says Bill Obliterates Women's Fundamental Right to Choose

NOW Officers at a protest against the Stupak Amendment, Nov. 9, 2009

"The House of Representatives has dealt the worst blow to women's fundamental right to self-determination in order to buy a few votes for reform of the profit-driven health insurance industry.

We must protect the rights we fought for in Roe v. Wade. We cannot and will not support a health care bill that strips millions of women of their existing access to abortion."

jimmyjms 8 years, 4 months ago

"Private insurance companies do not deny healthcare. They deny insurance coverage. They are not the same things."

Oh, indeed! You are so correct in that assessment!

"I'm sorry, but this treatment which you need to continue living is not covered by your health insurance. So, would you prefer to skip it, or pony up something in the area of $150,000 to $600,000, and will that be cash or check?"

See, that's not denying the care, it's denying the possibility of getting the care.

Your name is oh-so-appropriate.

Richard Heckler 8 years, 4 months ago

Why pay a profit making middleman who does not provide healthcare anything? Just sits around making profit....what's the point?

Why not make monthly arrangements with doctors and hospitals as you need the service? Paying up front on day of service might reap a discounted rate because it relieves the clinic etc etc of the paperwork hassle. Insurance people never pay full fees yet make the clinics and hospitals do battle for their money.

Or if that is a bit much why not demand a refined medicare for all plan which would provide cadillac service for all necessary care?

Richard Heckler 8 years, 4 months ago

My money is in Washington DC as we speak aka MY TAX DOLLARS.

Those tax dollars BELONG TO ME therefore let me spend MY TAX DOLLARS on MY MEDICAL INSURANCE = bringing my tax dollars home.

Richard Heckler 8 years, 4 months ago

The U.S. health care system is typically characterized as a largely private-sector system, so it may come as a surprise that more than 60% of the $2 trillion annual U.S. health care bill is paid through taxes, according to a 2002 analysis published in Health Affairs by Harvard Medical School associate professors Steffie Woolhandler and David Himmelstein.

Tax dollars pay for Medicare and Medicaid, for the Veterans Administration and the Indian Health Service. Tax dollars pay for health coverage for federal, state, and municipal government employees and their families, as well as for many employees of private companies working on government contracts.

Less visible but no less important, the tax deduction for employer-paid health insurance, along with other health care-related tax deductions, also represents a form of government spending on health care.

It makes little difference whether the government gives taxpayers (or their employers) a deduction for their health care spending, on the one hand, or collects their taxes then pays for their health care, either directly or via a voucher, on the other.

Moreover, tax dollars also pay for critical elements of the health care system apart from direct care—Medicare funds much of the expensive equipment hospitals use, for instance, along with all medical residencies.

All told, then, tax dollars already pay for at least $1.2 trillion in annual U.S. health care expenses. Since federal, state, and local governments collected approximately $3.5 trillion in taxes of all kinds—income, sales, property, corporate—in 2006, that means that more than one third of the aggregate tax revenues collected in the United States that year went to pay for health care.

Recognizing these hidden costs that U.S. households pay for health care today makes it far easier to see how a universal single-payer system—with all of its obvious advantages—can cost most Americans less than the one we have today.

Medicare must exist in the fragmented world that is American health care—but no matter how creative the opponents of single-payer get, there is no way they can show convincingly how the administrative costs of a single-payer system could come close to the current level.

More on this matter: http://www.dollarsandsense.org/archives/2008/0508harrison.html

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

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