Archive for Thursday, September 10, 2009

Trust issue

September 10, 2009


To the editor:

Why is it that every time there is an industry, in this country, that needs to be fixed, the first thing you begin to hear is the need for the government to step in and fix it? We are up to our ears in a debate over health care; what it will cover, whom it will cover, and who will pay for it.

Take a hard look at the auto industry. Private businesses across the country have closed because they no longer have a franchise. Look right here in our own home town. There has been a Chrysler and Chevrolet dealer in this town longer than I have been around and I remember when they were downtown. The government is not the answer, folks. The government can’t run anything efficiently. Am I supposed to trust the government with my health care (life)?

I suggest we reform some of the laws governing interstate commerce of the insurance industry to open up the competition. Place restrictions on the amount of money for which a doctor or hospital can be sued.

“A reformer is generally right about what is wrong and is generally wrong about what is right.” — G.K. Chesterton.


Richard Heckler 8 years ago

Yes the government is responsible for tearing down industry.

The government wrote tax laws(breaks) that do support outsourcing jobs. People need jobs to buy cars. New cars cost a fair amount of dough. Where are the jobs that afford the people money to buy new cars? Crown Chevrolet may well get the GM ax. The former big 3 went looking for slave labor = millions of lost USA jobs. Why support the big 3? May as well be buying Japanese.

The USA lost more USA Toyota production plants because they went to Canada where the medical coverage is. A healthy work force = less time off the job = more productivity.

Lawrence is kind of a glass house.

The USA has probably lost 20-30 million jobs since the Reagan-Bush global economy went into effect. From 2007 to May 2009 the USA lost 8 million jobs. The global economy means USA industry went looking for slave labor.

Free Trade Agreements means USA industry went looking for slave labor. Yes big time corporate america and elected officials have screwed up the economy.

IF government officials are going to support sending jobs abroad should they not have a plan in mind to keep america working? The "shop till you drop" industry is not only wasteful it cannot sustain the USA economy.

Medicare Insurance For All would be a key factor in establishing a new work force. Business no longer wants to fork out big bucks for medical insurance because it cost too damn much. I say why should business be forced to cover high dollar insurance? Unemployed and fixed income people cannot afford medical insurance and being under insured is throwing away money

HR 676 is the key.

Smart Medical Insurance Improves Our Quality of Life And Our Wallets!

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. This is my perception of competition.

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.

Doctors for Single Payer

Unions for HR 676

Organizations and Government Bodies Endorsing HR 676

Health Care In the USA

Consumer Reports On Health Care

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. This is my perception of competition.

rtwngr 8 years ago


Put the list away.

Has it ever occurred to you that if GM or Chrysler had been allowed to enter the bankruptcy courts, without government intervention, they would have emerged leaner and restructured? Maybe what Mr. Burkhart is implying that by doing so would have allowed those businesses that were forced to close to remain open instead?

I agree with the LTE, government needs to get the heck out of the way and allow free enterprise to function. That would get this economy rolling!

Left_handed 8 years ago

The government can't even run the government, so how can we expect them to run industry, particularly health care?

Einstein supposedly said that insanity is doing the same thing and expecting different results. As Stan Lee would say, 'nuff said.

Cait McKnelly 8 years ago

Your comment makes no sense, Mr. Southpaw. Your Einstein quote would actually be in FAVOR of health care reform (Insanity is doing the same thing and expecting different results).

Maddy Griffin 8 years ago

Does this mean that all of you will forego your medicare/medicaid benefits when you reach retirement?I watched Obama's speech last night and I think he made it clear that the government is NOT trying to take over the health care industry, Just trying to make i t affordable and accessible for all.

mom_of_three 8 years ago

I don't think the government forced the auto makers to close dealerships. The dealers did it themselves.
But it was also a big chain of events. The gas prices went up (because someone wanted to make bigger bucks), people stopped driving and buying new cars, auto makers started suffering.
As much as people would like to, you can't blame everything on the government.

Ernest Barteldes 8 years ago

This is one of the biggest misconceptions that the people here in this country have: that the market can take care of everything.

If the government hadnt stepped in, there would arguably be no auto industry here any longer. Same goes for health care.

Scott Drummond 8 years ago

"Place restrictions on the amount of money for which a doctor or hospital can be sued."

Why? How is this not the exact sort of governmental intrusion that you complain about in the health care arena? Why should anyone other than a jury and duly appointed judge get to decide whether I am entitled to redress for medical malpractice. Do you suggest for even one moment that just as soon as these sorts of "reforms" are put in place the insurance industry will not sweep in and totally corrupt them and screw consumers. These "reforms" sure don't seem to have helped the average citizen anywhere in the country. To me they are akin to the mandatory seatbelt laws the insurance companies imposed on us over the last generation. They increase profit margins at the expense of individual rights.

Bryan Moore 8 years ago


You lost me. If Gm and Chrysler brought this upon themselves (I don't believe Gov was interfering in their operations before the bailout) how was/is government standing in their way? Also what do you mean by leaner and restructured? fewer employees? Fewer car lines? Wouldn't that add to the unemployment problem that the right is slamming Obama for now? How does loosing some of the best paying middle class jobs get the economy rolling? What businesses are you referring to that went under because the Gov bailed out GM? Dealerships? Seems to me if your not selling your product then you don't need as many outlets for those sales. Just as Starbucks (one the most successful businesses of the last 10 -15 years) is doing. I'm not above saying that I don't know everything and I'm not attacking you. I am asking for more explanation of your claims to better understand where you're coming from. I want to know exactly what policies you feel are keeping free enterprise from functioning. Maybe you can persuade me to change my mind. It's just right now I don't see the positive way out for the admin. If they let GM and Chrysler fail and allow the subsequent ripple effect through their suppliers and distributors, then unemployment skyrockets even more (would be well over 10% now) and B.O. gets called to mat for the rates of unemployment - if he try's to stabilize them through government action he is a socialist.

Bruce Bertsch 8 years ago

Had GM and Chrysler entered bankruptcy without help from the governement, they would not have re=emerged, they would have been liquidated as they could not continue as a going concern. The impact to suppliers would have been devastating and Ford would have been forced out of business simply because there would have been no remaining suppliers.

Ronald Reagan was wrong. Government is not always the problem. Many times it is the solution.

bankboy119 8 years ago


The comment makes perfect sense. The government doesn't have one industry that they show they can efficiently run and make a profit. Why let them into another one to mess it up?

jafs 8 years ago

The government doesn't need to "make a profit" - that's part of the point.

They should, however, manage things so that they are more efficient and pay for themselves, much as a private non-profit company would have to do.

feeble 8 years ago

I find it incredible that people want to trust the market. The market is not a rational actor, and the events of 2008 and 1987 should be enough to confirm this for anyone. Heck, 10 days out of the last 53 years represent more than 50% of all returns in the market.

Insanity is letting the inmates run the asylum.

KsTwister 8 years ago

If government did no more than cap the huge profits made by a few monopolizing insurance companies in healthcare and the pharmaceuticals making other companies competitive you would not see this problem. We pay more for drugs that subsidized them in their start-up only to have them sell cheaper to other nations. What is wrong with that picture? It is less expensive to travel to have that operation now in Europe? We need to find out why America cannot build anything here as in the past, buy anything here as in the past and work for good companies here as in the past. Someone has sold you out. Government does not have to own the insurance companies, they can make them stop swallowing extra profits that benefit only the top management. I don't want to see our future generations being call centers for Canada and India but right now we are getting there. It would be a nice idea if the Fortune 500 companies were to keep a percentage of their jobs in America where they started; but that is not happening. Greed.

Leslie Swearingen 8 years ago

I hardly think a government bureaucrat is going to be giving someone a colonoscopy. This is a good plan. Doctors will still be making all the decisions for their patients. How many doctors yield to pressure from drug companies to prescribe certain drugs? What about that? I think all of the points the president put forth are sound and will work and make health care better for all of us. We also have to do our part and start doing things that will make us healthier as individuals and as a nation. Nothing is written is stone that says that as people age they fall apart. If they do it is the result of poor choices made years before. Some are so paranoid they see any advice as as assault on their personal rights.

jonas_opines 8 years ago

"Am I supposed to trust the government with my (edit) (life)?"

You do every day.

National Defense Police Departments Fire Departments

If you don't trust the government, then why do you trust them with these things?

denak 8 years ago

Heck yes, I want to trust my life to the government. The one time I had government run health insurance was the best medical care I ever received. When I was in the service, I had CHAMPUS, at the time, it was completely free. I went into premature labor while I was on leave and had to go to KU to deliver my 7 week premature son. There was no discussion on whether or not I had insurance. When I go to the hospital, it was simply, "What does she need in order to deliver this baby safely?" And then during the 12 days he was in the NICU, the question wasn't "how is she going to pay for this?" the question was simply, "What do we need to do in order for this child to survive, thrive and get released." When my son was a few weeks old he developed blood sepsis and had to go to the Naval hospital on Camp Pendleton. Again, the only thing that mattered was what did the doctors need to do in order to care for him.

Today, my son is visually impaired (not related to the prematurity) and I have foster children. All of them have medical cards. I have never had a problem with getting them the medical care they need. There is no cap on how much psychological help they can get. If they need to be hospitalized due to erratic behavior, they are hospitalized until they are truly stable and not just until the insurance runs out.

In contrast, I have a friend. I have spoken of her before. Her 16 year old son has Type 1 diabetes. She has changed jobs 3 times since he was diagnosed 3 years ago in order to get decent coverage for him. She has to insure him under her work plan because she can not get a better/cheaper policy because of his "pre-existing" condition. She makes a good salary. Better than the average here in Lawrence and yet, she is going to credit counseling in order to stave off bankruptcy due to medical bills.

So, who do I trust. I trust the government because the times I have personally had government run insurance/medical care and the times my son and my foster children have utilized government run insurance/medical care, we have always received better care. Much better than I would have or they would have under private insurance plans.

Unlike "Joshua" whose mom has to beg, plead and cry to get her child care. It is the private insurance companies I don't trust because they would rather see profit rather than "Joshua"--a child-- take care of.


BigPrune 8 years ago

It is suspect that Mack McLarty (Clinton's former chief of staff) and Robert Johnson (founder of Black Entertainment Television and major financial contributor to Obama's campaign) own dealerships in the KC metro as well as other parts of country and not one of their franchises got yanked in the bankruptcy - even though some of their dealerships underperformed our local dealerships who just happened to lose their franchises.

Hmmmmm. Government solution my ass.

Bryan Moore 8 years ago

BP Do you own/work for a local car dealership? Which dealers in K.C./U.S. do they own? Is that a majority stake or a minority stake? How did you get access to their books to know who "underperformed" who? Not saying your wrong but where did you get your info?

puddleglum 8 years ago

tom, sorry to hear about your colon. but who are you going to go crying to when your insurance denies you coverage? or drops you right after your surgery? people calling for caps on lawsuits are REALLY uninformed. After the doctor screws up your operation, you may be left with a faulty kidney or something and you can only get $10,000 out of the doctor or hospital? because you voted to 'cap' the lawsuit?

and interstate insurance is even rejected by insurance companies....they know that the biggest fish will eventually take over eveyone-and they have WAY too good of racket going on as things are right now....why change?

amazing how the majority of people want this insurance fraud-deal overhauled, but people like Moran, lynn jenkins and the LTE author continue to 'suggest' business-owner-friendly ideas which will only worsen the status quo. thankfully, most of them are old and will be dead soon, so we won't have to fight these hemorroids on the a$$ of progress. enough is enough. we want health insurance that actually works.

puddleglum 8 years ago

arizona.... he said 'it is suspected that..." which means either fox news or Rush limbaugh's show. in other words, completely unsubstantiated-fiction

puddleglum 8 years ago

btw, the chrysler and chevrolet dealerships remain, they just don't sell chevrolets and chryslers anymore.....vw's and toyotas...........(those are companies in countries which have laws eliminating corporate raping or cookie-jar stealing, whatever you wanna call it. In fact, they came to the good ol' U.S.A. to buy out chrysler-take all the good stuff, and dump the shell to cerberus....)

salad 8 years ago

Tom, Also sorry to hear about your colon, perhaps the next time the doctor is looking around in there he can dislodge your head.* The idea about the govt. needing to make a profit is a false premise; sorta like faulting a non-profit for....not making a profit.


1029 8 years ago

Excellent letter. I don't trust no one but the good Lord. I definitely ain't gonna trust no loony liberal socialist. If the government comes and tries to take my hard-earned money and tries to spend it on keeping some lazy moocher slob alive I'll be waiting with my fingers on the triggers. Freedom isn't free.

a_flock_of_jayhawks 8 years ago

rtwngr (Anonymous) says…

"I agree with the LTE, government needs to get the heck out of the way and allow free enterprise to function. That would get this economy rolling!"

Did it occur to you that lack of government oversight and controls are actually what helped create the economic crisis we're in? There are a few people who were on the inside that reaped huge profits. They jetted away and left us holding the bag. In some circles, that would be called stealing. I guess in yours, it would be called free enterprise. You've probably gotten the short end of the stick in that whole mess and don't even realize it. That's where a limited oversight by our government is necessary to keep free enterprise from becoming a free for all orgy of a few at the expense of everyone else.

a_flock_of_jayhawks 8 years ago

1029 (Anonymous) says… "If the government comes and tries to take my hard-earned money and tries to spend it on keeping some lazy moocher slob alive I'll be waiting with my fingers on the triggers. Freedom isn't free."

You can emerge from your bunker now. It's safe. Thank goodness there aren't a whole lot of me me me types like you. If you had your way, it would be 1029 AD, no roads, no economic wealth to speak of, and you would probably be a penniless serf with no hope for your sorry life. Get sick? Oh well, your daily floggings will get a bit more intense until you come around.

Give civilization a try. One catch: you have to contribute if you want to benefit. And, if you happen upon misfortune - get disabled or otherwise cannot contribute - we'll be there to help.

MyName 8 years ago

Okay 1029. You can add "Assault with a deadly weapon" to the "Tax evasion" charges then, Mr. Internet Toughguy.

bisky1 8 years ago

merrill sez: The USA lost more USA Toyota production plants because they went to Canada where the medical coverage is. A healthy work force = less time off the job = more productivity.

mostly because it shifts the cost of health coverage from toyota to the taxpayer, not because the care is better

Jimo 8 years ago

"Why is it that every time there is an industry, in this country, that needs to be fixed, the first thing you begin to hear is the need for the government to step in and fix it?"

Because industry keep demonstrating that it isn't self-regulating? (Just a thought.)

Stephen Roberts 8 years ago

Merrill: Please let me know what tax laws that make it more profitable to outsource???? Why isn;t it cheaper to use outsourced labor than American labor??

Let use an example. You mow lawns for a living. If you charge $20 for a lawn, Pedro charges $15 a lawn, and Xio charges $10 a lawn. I own 1,000,000,000 lawns. Who should I use????????

jumpin_catfish 8 years ago

Only a fool would believe anything that Obama is promising. He is endangering the constitution and our republic and should be impeached immediately.

RedwoodCoast 8 years ago

Who would you trust running your healthcare: the government or some capitalist entity looking to, well, capitalize? What this LTE is advocating is not health care reform in any sense of the idea. All it amounts to is a tweaking of our current system. There is no way universal care can be accomplished in this manner, since it still operates through regularly collecting premiums. Thus, capital is still going to be an issue for employers, employees, and the unemployed when trying to obtain and receive health care.

Boy, sure looks like Obama has reached out and pushed a lot of people's wacko buttons. It looks more and more like the anti-Obama crowd's horse is running away with their carriage.

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