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Letters to the Editor

Health care fears

September 30, 2009

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To the editor:

Craig Campbell complained about how the Obama administration makes empty threats against other countries, but makes, well, I couldn’t actually figure out what Campbell was claiming about health care.

He wrote: “It appears the only actual repercussions that the Obama administration is on those people who choose not to purchase for themselves of their employees.”

Granted, perhaps he inadvertently left something out of the sentence and it should have read, the only actual repercussions that the Obama administration (missing words) is on those people who choose not to...” On the other hand, since there has been absolutely no health care plan passed whatsoever, there certainly aren’t ANY actual repercussions from it, now are there?

Which makes Campbell’s claim about health care repercussions just as much “empty threats” as anything else he mentioned.

I sure wish people would stop being so afraid that ours, the richest country in the history of the world, can’t afford to make sure that all Americans have access to decent health care.

It kinda makes me want to be just as mean-spirited as those complainers, and hope complainers lose their employer-paid health insurance or their Medicare. And then really need it.

But I’m not that mean-spirited.

Comments

edjayhawk 4 years, 6 months ago

I haven't said this in awhile, so I'll bring it up again….

You go on and on about how we are the worst country when it comes to health care. That means you have PLENTY of options in moving to a country that does! Pack your bags and go.

That will show the rest of us….we'll be sorry then!

I've got a better idea: Why don't we offer a public option and you leave the country!

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Lynn731 4 years, 6 months ago

The reason has more to do with distrust of Obama. Thank you, Lynn

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jafs 4 years, 6 months ago

acorn,

That's a good question - it seems to me that many people just accept employer-based health insurance as a given.

It actually started during WWII, when wages were frozen, in order to attract/keep good employees - since employers couldn't raise wages, they offered more/better benefits.

However, if employers simply stopped providing insurance without raising wages, how would folks afford coverage?

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Kendall Simmons 4 years, 6 months ago

What I'd really like to know is why anyone thinks employers should pay for most of your health insurance as an employee of theirs?

Do people really believe they make that money back for their employers? That they're that valuable? Or their skills are irreplaceable? Do they really think everyone would quit if their employer dropped health insurance from their pay packages because the employer could no longer afford it? Or that other people wouldn't be applying for their jobs, even without health insurance?

More and more employers have stopped paying for health insurance, while countless others are increasing deductibles and copays and employee premiums, because they simply can't afford to cover these costs anymore.

Plus employer-paid health insurance ties your insurance to your job. Lose your job - lose your insurance.

(And before you mention COBRA, please keep in mind that COBRA...assuming you qualify...requires you pay ALL the cost of your employer-provided insurance, not just your employee share - and this when you've already lost your job and your unemployment check is only a small percentage of your former take home pay.

Yes, I am familiar with the history of employer-paid health insurance. But I'm asking the question in late 2009.

(And, no, the tax benefits to businesses do not make up for the $$ they pay for health insurance...in case someone thinks that might be the reason.)

So why? Why should employers pay for most of your health insurance? Why should it be a cost of their doing business?

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notajayhawk 4 years, 6 months ago

merrill (Anonymous) says…

"This family wants OUR tax dollars paying for OUR medicare insurance for all because OUR tax dollars is OUR money."

And one more time, mertle:

If you want YOUR money to pay for YOUR bills, then you have absolutely no need to mix up your money with mine. Keep it to yourself.

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Richard Heckler 4 years, 6 months ago

This is a glimpse of 2010 medical insurance costs. An Increase of about $5,000. 2009 costs were coming in at $13,000 per year.

“In front of me I have a document from my employer that shows their cost for insurance.

Medical, Dental and Vision for the year 2010 my employer will pay $15,450. I will pay another $2860 out of my pay check. $18310 a year for insurance is ludicrous, and we wonder why so many companies are having massive layoffs. It is a real travesty that nothing is going to happen in the near future on health care.”

This anti fair insurance campaign have the insurance industry,HMO's and Pharmaceutical industry recklessly spending healthcare dollars on politics. Increasing the cost of their services each day of the campaign.

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Richard Heckler 4 years, 6 months ago

This family wants OUR tax dollars paying for OUR medicare insurance for all because OUR tax dollars is OUR money.

All of our doctors dislike the current medical insurance system with gusto. It is simply cost too much money for them to operate in a fiscal responsible manner. And it interferes with responsible medical practice.

The nations jobs and ability to attract or develop new industry are at stake. We're talking jobs jobs jobs. Toyota recently opened another new plant in Canada.

Millions of jobs were lost during the Reagan/Bush Savings and Loan/home loan scandal(first one) and during the global economy push = outsourcing.

Then Bush/Quale came along.

Bush/Cheney lost 2 million in their first admin and 6 million during the second admin when the second home/loan scandal surfaced.

The USA is down about 20 million jobs. No new industry has been been developed to bring those jobs and their pay scales back = loss of national wealth.

Without Medicare for All Insurance, jobs and new industry development will remain in the negative column for years to come.

The USA insured cannot afford to have high CEO salaries,golden parachutes,shareholders, key legislators as shareholders and special interest political campaign contributions attached to the cost of medical insurance.

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 is the fiscally responsible avenue. It will save tons of tax dollars for taxpayers off the bill of federal employees alone.

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notajayhawk 4 years, 6 months ago

jimmyjms (Anonymous) says…

"Income has increased 29% over the last 20 years, whereas healthcare premiums have increased 428% in the same time frame (33% in just the last 5 years)."

Hmmm. Possibly because the cost of health CARE has risen during that period? Pretty sure the cost of car insurance has risen, too - perhaps because cars cost more to fix these days.

"Healthcare debt is the #1 cause of bankruptcy in this country."

No, it is not. But enjoy another glass of kool-aid, it helps wash down the pabalum the looney-left has been spoon-feeding you.

The same two nutjob-social activists that founded PNHP (one of the sites our dear merrill is so fond of citing) wrote that piece of hogwash. It's laughable. And, incidentally, their conclusions don't make that claim.

What the esteemed Drs. Himmelstein & Woolhandler said was that medical reasons were the number one cause of bankruptcy, not necessarily medical debt. One of the causes of labeling a bankruptcy 'medically caused,' for instance, is missing more than two weeks of work due to medical reasons, whether or not your medical bills were paid.

But more importantly, the so-called 'researchers' completely ignored the other sources of debt or the size of non-medical debt. If you had medical bills in excess of, in some cases (they've done this 'study' multiple years), as little as $2,000, then it was a 'medical bankruptcy,' regardless of how much you owed to other sources. In other words, you could have a $500,000 mortgage, a couple of $20,000 car loans, $30,000 in credit card debt, $50,000 in student loans, and owe $3,000 for that emergency room visit last month, and the wonderful Drs. H&W call that a 'medical bankruptcy.'

The same two quacks (incidentally, Dr. Woolhandler's bio on the NIH website openly admits she entered the field of medicine specifically to promote her social change agenda) are responsible for that infamous NEJM article from whence comes the oft-cited claim that a third of our healthcare dollars goes to insurance companies - and that study found no such thing, either.

But enjoy your kool-aid, jimmyjms.


just_another_bozo_on_this_bus (Anonymous) says…

"At some point within the last year or so, nearly 1/3 of the US population has gone without health insurance."

At some point in the next year or so, boohoozo's baseless claim will have ballooned to '450% of the US population has gone without health insurance.'

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just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 4 years, 6 months ago

"Only if it is a replacement for the income and death taxes."

It'd be a replacement for ripoff insurance premiums-- which is even better.

BTW, what's a "death tax?"

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Richard Heckler 4 years, 6 months ago

Notice that the insurance and HMO industries are very busy increasing the cost of medical insurance.

Face it all of the legislators voting against single payer means they approve of increasing the cost of medical insurance and they approve of protecting their shares and campaign funding all of which increases the cost of medical insurance.

Why in hell are so many in favor of increasing the cost of medical insurance?

The under insured are in huge trouble because they are as likely as as the uninsured to become a victim of medical bankruptcy.

Substantial reasons why Medicare Insurance for All should be the choice for all in America: Go To: http://www.healthcare-now.org/hr-676/

  • Makes the USA more attractive to NEW industry thus jobs thus new wealth for the USA.

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

*Eliminates Leading Cause Of Bankruptcy http://www.consumeraffairs.com/news04/2005/bankruptcy_study.html#ixzz0IQKZLHHh&C

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puddleglum 4 years, 6 months ago

gareth:"Or Mr. Right Wing, we could…. oh, I dunno…. win the national election, and then enact the changes we want…..

Wait, that's crazy talk!"

danggit, you beat me to it!

yeah rightwinger, go hide in your den and watch fox news...you guys are doing great!

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Pilgrim2 4 years, 6 months ago

merrill (Anonymous) says…

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.


It's dead, Richard. Ain't happening. What part of D-E-A-D do you not understand?

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Pilgrim2 4 years, 6 months ago

merrill (Anonymous) says… Sources: 1. “More Americans Believe In UFOs Than Oppose A Public Option,” Media Matters, September 29, 2009 http://mediamattersaction.org/blog/20

  1. “Insurance and HMO Industries Spend Nearly $700,000 Per Day to Kill Health Care Reform Measures,” Public Campaign Action Fund, September 15, 2009. http://www.moveon.org/r?r=84720&i… l

  2. “Poll Finds Most Doctors Support Public Option,” National Public Radio, September 14, 2009 http://www.moveon.org/r?r=84786&i

5.”Small Business Owners Say Cutting Health Care Costs, Need for Reform are Top Concerns,” Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, December 3, 2008 http://www.rwjf.org/pr/product.jsp?id


Got any truly objective sources to cite, Richard? All of the above are in the socialism tank with you.

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Pilgrim2 4 years, 6 months ago

nytemayr (Anonymous) says…

I think a non criminal Federal sales tax of 8 cents on everything works better.


Only if it is a replacement for the income and death taxes.

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Richard Heckler 4 years, 6 months ago

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.

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

Consumer Reports On Health Care http://blogs.consumerreports.org/health/health_reform/

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.

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Jimo 4 years, 6 months ago

"That means you have PLENTY of options in moving to a country that does! Pack your bags and go."

Strange that you say this as the number of people fleeing America has become large enough to attract a name: the American Diaspora.

The U.S. is the only major country that makes no effort to count the number of citizens abroad so the Census Bureau has no count but there's a lot of anecdotal evidence that the numbers are growing rapidly.

This leaves aside the further issue of people who do not immigrate to the U.S. The most critical are those educated in the sciences and mathematics who go back now to Korea, China, India, Europe, where before they'd stay and make up for our atrocious educational deficiencies.

Besides, why should the Majority of Americans leave the country because the irrational objections of a minority of loud mouthed fools?

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Richard Heckler 4 years, 6 months ago

Sources: 1. "More Americans Believe In UFOs Than Oppose A Public Option," Media Matters, September 29, 2009 http://mediamattersaction.org/blog/200909290001

  1. "Insurance and HMO Industries Spend Nearly $700,000 Per Day to Kill Health Care Reform Measures," Public Campaign Action Fund, September 15, 2009. http://www.moveon.org/r?r=84720&id=17382-5760779-aGeJgfx&t=6 l

  2. "Poll Finds Most Doctors Support Public Option," National Public Radio, September 14, 2009 http://www.moveon.org/r?r=84786&id=17382-5760779-aGeJgfx&t=7

5."Small Business Owners Say Cutting Health Care Costs, Need for Reform are Top Concerns," Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, December 3, 2008 http://www.rwjf.org/pr/product.jsp?id=36550

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just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 4 years, 6 months ago

"Lynn731… Who is the “hybrid”?"

Lynn will have to check with Glenn Beck before your question can be answered,

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Satirical 4 years, 6 months ago

Here is a half-way decent article from the NYTimes. The author doesn't question much of what Obama claims will occur with health care reform (isn't dissent still patriotic?); but at the end has some decent questions.

http://prescriptions.blogs.nytimes.com/2009/09/30/still-confused-a-refresher-on-the-basics-of-the-health-debate/

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horsegirl 4 years, 6 months ago

Lynn731... Who is the "hybrid"?

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TheYetiSpeaks 4 years, 6 months ago

"...the richest country in the history of the world..."

You mean the one with the trillion plus dollar debt...that richest country? I think I need to hear your definition of rich.

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Lynn731 4 years, 6 months ago

I am afraid because the hybrid has proven he cannot be trusted. End of story. Thank you, Lynn

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Gareth 4 years, 6 months ago

Or Mr. Right Wing, we could.... oh, I dunno.... win the national election, and then enact the changes we want.....

Wait, that's crazy talk!

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just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 4 years, 6 months ago

"That means you have PLENTY of options in moving to a country that does!"

It's not the "worst," it's just the most expensive and least comprehensive, so most of us get absolutely nothing for the added expense.

"That means you have PLENTY of options in moving to a country that does!"

Actually, we have about the same options of moving elsewhere that the undocumented Mexican mowing your lawn or fixing your roof had. So not only is moving out of the country not a viable option, it's also a much worse one than fixing our idiotic, Rube-Goldberg style healthcare system.

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jimmyjms 4 years, 6 months ago

Income has increased 29% over the last 20 years, whereas healthcare premiums have increased 428% in the same time frame (33% in just the last 5 years). Healthcare debt is the #1 cause of bankruptcy in this country.

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mr_right_wing 4 years, 6 months ago

I haven't said this in awhile, so I'll bring it up again....

You go on and on about how we are the worst country when it comes to health care. That means you have PLENTY of options in moving to a country that does! Pack your bags and go.

That will show the rest of us....we'll be sorry then!

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Jimo 4 years, 6 months ago

"Granted, perhaps he inadvertently left something out of the sentence"

Grammar? Coherence of thought?

In defense of Mr. Campbell's whining (although he deserves none), it is less that people fear that the richest country in the history of the world can’t afford to make sure that all Americans have access to decent health care but rather that no country, regardless of how rich it may be, is ever rich enough to pay for all the wants and desires that people wish to vote themselves (under the illusion that someone else pays).

There is no believable explanation how health care, climate change, lowered tax rates, Medicaid, Medicare, Social Security, boundless military adventurism, trillion dollar bailouts, trillion dollar deficits, and pork piled upon pork, can ever be paid by this richest country. That's not an argument against any one of these items especially health insurance reform. And it shocks the conscience of fair minded persons that Republicans can take off their rose-colored glasses on Jan. 20th and be shocked to find unsustainable debt accumulated. But the fact is that both Parties in America are economically ignorant of Lesson 1 from Econ 101: man's wants are endless but the supply of goods is limited; choices must be made and desired consumption foregone.

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nytemayr 4 years, 6 months ago

It bothered me that the public option was removed. It bothers me that we have over 3 million people in prison and the current senate healthcare proposal will criminalized people for not buying health insurance. The criminal penalties include fines and jail time up to 3 years. It bothers me that the IRS is proposed as the law enforcement agent for healthcare.

I think a non criminal Federal sales tax of 8 cents on everything works better.

I think requiring aliens to have proof of health insurance with deportation penalties might be ok.

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avoice 4 years, 6 months ago

If you have health insurance it is your premiums that subsidize the cost of healthcare for those who do not have it. Medicaid (the program for non-retirees who can't afford health insurance) has set payments just like Medicare does. Why does an aspirin cost $60 to your health insurance company? Because you have to pay for 100 aspirins for the rest of the uninsured who are getting aspirin at the emergency room. This problem is only going to get worse as each year the cost goes up, more people have to drop out of the system because they can't afford the premiums, putting more people in the "emergency room" loop, putting more burden on the shrinking number of insured. Unsustainable. Period.

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just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 4 years, 6 months ago

"If you want health insurance go pay for it like everyone else!"

At some point within the last year or so, nearly 1/3 of the US population has gone without health insurance. Why? Mostly because they can't afford it. And why not? Could it be it be because our healthcare system costs nearly twice as much to operate, and covers less of our population, than anybody else's?

So, skinny, your simple "solution" is really no solution at all, is it?

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skinny 4 years, 6 months ago

Everyone who needs emergency health care gets it now at the tax payers expense! So what's the problem?

If you want health insurance go pay for it like everyone else!

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Paul R Getto 4 years, 6 months ago

Good points. It's hard to predict the outcome, but eventually America needs to join the rest of the developed countries and make sure their citizens have access to at least some form of health care.

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