Letters to the Editor

No public option

October 13, 2009


To the editor:

I think the health care issue can be boiled down into two concerns: (1) getting health insurance for those people who cannot afford it, and (2) reining in costs while not denying coverage to those with pre-existing conditions.

To solve this, we don’t need a government-run health care program that covers everyone. What we need is to solve concern No. 1 by providing health care ONLY to those who cannot afford it. We need to solve concern No. 2 with government oversight on health care costs, allowing folks to buy insurance from other states and making it much more difficult for trial lawyers to sue doctors and hospitals over frivolous claims. We should allow folks who already have health insurance to keep it. With government oversight on costs while allowing a free-market and competitive market approach to health care while cutting out “ambulance-chasers” from the equation, we can make huge strides in reform while not spending ourselves into oblivion.

We simply don’t want an expensive and unnecessary government-run, i.e., public option, health care program. Just look at the results of the government running the post office, Medicare and Social Security — all disasters.


Richard Heckler 8 years, 7 months ago

The family of Senator Frist and their huge HMO is part of the problem. This family HMO ripped off medicare for billions in over charges and walked away with a slap on the wrist AFTER the Senator became Senator.

Having politicians as shareholders is a huge problem in the USA and this most expensive medical insurance in the world situation is no different.

Politicians as shareholders: http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2009/06/12/AR2009061204075.html

Richard Heckler 8 years, 7 months ago

Prudent reasons why National Health Insurance for All should be the choice for all in America: http://www.healthcare-now.org/

65% want citizen/taxpayer supported National Health Insurance plan: http://www.nytimes.com/imagepages/2009/09/25/us/politics/25pollgrx.html

Never never never forget… It is the private medical insurance industry that cancels YOUR medical insurance AFTER taking YOUR MONEY for years.

Smart National Health Insurance WILL NOT cancel your coverage.

Smart National Health Insurance for All CANNOT be cancelled.

Bankruptcy due to medical bills CANNOT happen with Smart National Health Insurance.

Smart National Health Insurance = CHOICE across the board

Smart Medicare Insurance for All will not only improve our quality of life but also our wallets. Yes we would have more expendable cash for birthdays,Christmas, vacations and investments.

Richard Heckler 8 years, 7 months ago

Smart National Health Insurance is fiscally prudent.

How much is the sick U.S. health care system costing you? http://www.dollarsandsense.org/archives/2008/0508harrison.html

Bill Moyers on Sen Baucus's office staff of insurance people http://www.pbs.org/moyers/journal/blog/2009/10/bill_moyers_michael_winship_in.html#more

Smart National Insurance ends deductibles and co-payments.

Smart National Health Insurance will save $350 billion annually by eliminating the high overhead and profits of the private health insurance industry and HMOs according to the Congressional Budget Office.

National Health Insurance does not remove competition from the actual health care industry. It will be alive and well. Profits will be based on customer service and clinic performance based on the clients experience. CHOICE returns to the clients ballpark.

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

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

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

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

Boston_Corbett 8 years, 7 months ago

Please LJW, develop a squelch feature so I can totally turn off Merrills posts.

jaywalker 8 years, 7 months ago

So, this bill that nobody's read, that's supposed to cover everyone that can't get health care but will actually still leave 25 million w/out coverage, ....is this bill comin' up for vote today?
These clowns can't even get their arms around the primary concept of this catastrophe-in-waiting, but 'let's put it to a vote' anyway? Excellent.
Gee, I wonder why I have no faith in our government stickin' their grubby paws into this industry.

inspire 8 years, 7 months ago

I agree with this write, but seriously, who is going to write laws that could be enforced to reign in costs and prevent frivolous malpractice lawsuits. I can just imagine the quagmire that would result from THAT type of legislation! Unfortunately, the greed in the insurance industry is so enormous that it may be unsurmountable without broad sweeping legislation that completely turns the industry on it's head. From there we can keep tweaking this broad policy to make it most palatable to the largest number of people.

Maddy Griffin 8 years, 7 months ago

I'm going with Merrill on this one. A lot of people whine about his cut& paste habit, but I'm glad he does it. He does the homework for all of us. Thank you,Merrill!!

jafs 8 years, 7 months ago

A simple solution to insurance company greed would be to legislate that health insurance companies be run as non-profit organizations.

You could probably try it with drug companies, hospitals, etc. as well.

Satirical 8 years, 7 months ago

jafs... "A simple solution to insurance company greed would be to legislate that health insurance companies be run as non-profit organizations"

I am not sure if this is the best solution, because I fear that this would include not giving tax breaks to companies for R&D for the breakthrough medicine that has helped billions of people in this world; however, I think there is a fair chance what you propose will eventually be compromised on by Republicans and Democrats.

I agree with the author that we need tort reform and allow insurance companies to compete across state lines. It is basic economics that competition leads to lower costs and increased efficiency.

The fear that insurance companies will take advantage of people is as unjustified as claiming securities shouldn't be sold across state lines for the same reason. This is the reason we have the SEC. While I am generally opposed to more federal control, I would support a single form of oversight to promote competition.

Brent Garner 8 years, 7 months ago

Problem #1 with national health care--there are not enough doctors. Even Dear Leaders own people admit that for a national health care system to provide the same accessiblity it does today and still give everyone immediate access to a doctor that we'd need to find another 40,000 or 50,000 doctors. Don't think there are that many medical students even in the pipeline let alone ready to graduate this year. And that means that if national health care comes to the US you WILL have a greater difficulty getting an appointment BECAUSE there will be more people trying to see the same limited number of doctors. Old supply and demand coming back to bite you. Problem #2: Government control over costs seeks only to control the demand side of the equation. It does nothing, in fact it exacerbates, the supply side problem. Just as problem #1 above causes problems, government dictating prices will reduce the supply of doctors and medical equipment and we will become just like Canada or merry olde England! Not bad if you have an emergency, but if you need some kind of non-emergency even critical care--cancer treatment, MRI, CAT scan, etc.,--you may have to take a number and stand in line--a very long line. Problem #3: None of the so-called health care reform bills actually exist, particularly the Baucus Bill--should be renamed the Bogus Bill. All they have are a series of handwritten notes, not even a complete bill. But, they're going to vote on this phantom and then fill in the details latter. Just trust 'em. Yeah, right!

ralphralph 8 years, 7 months ago

If you work, this "reform" means you will work longer and harder to pay for the health care of those who will not work.

Scott Drummond 8 years, 7 months ago

Why do right wingers hate the judicial branch of government so much? Did the founders not establish a system in which a jury of peers resolves and awards relief for civil and criminal matters? Did the founders see fit to bar such relief, or place/ They place great stock in original intent when protecting various constitutional rights? Why not the jury system?

Jimo 8 years, 7 months ago

"and we will become just like Canada or merry olde England!"

If only we could exist in a manner like the living hell of Canada!

"making it much more difficult for trial lawyers to sue doctors and hospitals over frivolous claims"

Yes, just like eliminating 'waste, fraud, and abuse' is always trotted out as an easy-out for the imbalance in our bottomless desire for government services and our obsession with constantly cutting taxes for rich people. Why would a minuscule part of costs balance run-away costs making up 1/6th of the economy? How is it fair to throw to the wolves victims of medical incompetence who can't often even now receive full recompense?

"allowing folks to buy insurance from other states"

Or we could stop exempting only the insurance industry from the anti-trust laws normally in place to criminalize uncompetitive price-fixing. Why again are their special rules for the insurance (and baseball) industry?

puddleglum 8 years, 7 months ago

once again, the replublican fix for the health care debacle:

find ways for the insurance companies to make MORE money, then they will pass the savings on to you, the customer. I'm sure someone out there believes you, besides yourself.

Satirical 8 years, 7 months ago


Who has suggested overturning the jury system, or professed any hate of the judicial branch?

Jimo 8 years, 7 months ago

I also note that the Congressional Budget Office has just finished examining the question of the value in imposing a national cap on medical malpractice awards. Their conclusion: 0.5% less health care costs than now. The study did not examine what harm to patients would result from the reform rules.

notajayhawk 8 years, 7 months ago

grammaddy (Anonymous) says…

"I'm going with Merrill on this one. A lot of people whine about his cut& paste habit, but I'm glad he does it. He does the homework for all of us. Thank you,Merrill!!"

Exactly why buffoons such as merrill-bot are so dangerous - because lazy folks like grammaddy that can't be bothered to do their own homework will swallow anything that gets repeated often enough.

scott3460 (Anonymous) says…

"Did the founders not establish a system in which a jury of peers resolves and awards relief for civil and criminal matters?"

Did they not also establish a system where the government keeps its nose out of private business, and that allows business to make profits, scottie?

Why do liberals always think it's okay to siphon billions out of our healthcare dollars into attorneys' pockets, but an insurance company making money is abhorrent? Oh, that's right - because the libs know they'll never reach the point where they can make that much money running a company, but they can always hope to win the lottery by suing someone.

tbaker 8 years, 7 months ago

The looters in DC need to be confined to their original enumerated powers in the constitution. Until US v. Butler is reversed, they will spend money we don't have on more government programs doomed to failure and bankruptcy before they would ever enact a REAL reform that increased access and reduced the cost of health care. They won't stop until the entire country is one, giant, assisted living facility.

puddleglum 8 years, 7 months ago

ralphpalph... I'm ready for some of those promises too......like what?

notajayhawk 8 years, 7 months ago

It is hard to believe that a town like Lawrence has as many totally ignorant people as they do. With all the educational choices available, why do they confine themselves to Rachel Madkow, CBS, and total nutcase web sites like PNHP's? Is it the water from the Kaw, is it the pollution from Westar, is USD 497 school district failing that badly, is it in the DNA, I don't know but really feel bad that for some people these posters represent Lawrence.

Jimo 8 years, 7 months ago

Seriously? Rachel Maddow vs. Rush. One's as nice as your grandmother while the other is a bombastic, vile race baiter about to be banned from NFL ownership. CBS? The large corporate news organization vs. Glenn Beck, the weepy conspiracy theorist? PNHP, the actual professional lifesavers vs. pajama-wearing unaccountable silly dullards.

not-a-rational-being: get a clue, get out of the basement once in a while, and meet real Americans. No, seriously -- who do you think you're fooling?

tbaker 8 years, 7 months ago

The number of people who no longer require government assistance is the true measure of compassion for one's fellow man. Devising ways to make more people dependent on the government is immoral tyranny for both those forced to provide and those forced to receive the unearned benefit.

jimmyjms 8 years, 7 months ago

Medicaid has been a disaster? By what metric?

How's our military? Are they any good?

Commenting has been disabled for this item.