Letters to the Editor


March 2, 2010


To the editor:

I just can’t take this socialist ObamaCare. I much prefer the Republican’s EnronCare. You see, the government just can’t be trusted to do anything right, so we gotta leave it to private industry and free markets to get us the best possible care. You know, private companies like Enron, AIG, Tyco, or business guys like that Madoff character.

And we need tart reform. We need fewer calories in our tarts to make us healthy, and it’s gonna save around 2 percent on health care premiums. And I wanna buy my insurance from another state, like Hawaii. I hear in Hawaii if you work over 20 hours a week you get inexpensive, good health benefits no matter what. Unless that’s socialist, cause then I don’t want it.

But we gotta get these costs down before we become like France. In France they pay something like 120 percent of their income on health care and everybody waits for months just to see a guy about a cold. That ain’t gonna fly here. Hey, G-beck is on the TV, I gotta run. Down with ObamaCare!


Brent Garner 8 years, 3 months ago

Only a slight hint of sarcasm? Me thinks he spilled the entire jar into this one! Good humorous LTE though!

wolfy 8 years, 3 months ago

Sometimes sarcasm is the only way to respond to an absurd world. Ever since Obama unveiled his moderate, market-driven approach to healthcare reform, corporate shills posing as elected officials have been casting ridiculous lies and hyperbole designed to scare the hell out of seniors and ignite anti-government zealots. Now these same sellouts are citing polls that seem to say the public doesn't want healthcare reform. I wonder why?

The hypocricy is overwhelming. When will people realize that corporate hegemony, not government, is what has driven our country off a cliff? It is high time that corporations begin conforming to civic stardards--not vice versa.

SettingTheRecordStraight 8 years, 3 months ago

In an attempt to be as funny as Dave Barry, Mr. MacFarland makes a fool out of himself.

Toe makes a good point, though. Those who distrust government and those who distrust big business would be wise to work long and hard and to save, save, save.

notajayhawk 8 years, 3 months ago

wolfy (anonymous) says...

"Ever since Obama unveiled his moderate, market-driven approach to healthcare reform ..."

Hahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahaha hahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahaha hahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahaha hahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahaha hahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahaha hahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahaha hahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahaha hahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahaha hahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahaha hahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahaha

Whew, sorry. About lost it there for a minute.

Um, wolfy?

How is the government forcing you to buy a product "market driven"?

notajayhawk 8 years, 3 months ago

"I much prefer the Republican’s EnronCare."

Gee, and I was so looking forward to the Democrats' PostalCare.

wolfy 8 years, 3 months ago

Notajayhaw, We as citizens force ourselves (through government) to buy a lot of things: roads, education, bombs, even car insurance. My point is that Obama's healthcare plan is not government-run healthcare, nor is it socialized healthcare. The linch-pin of this reform is getting everyone invested, with real purchasing leverage, in a well-regulated insurance market so that costs and risks can be spread more evenly and thus minimized. It's not a radical idea.

Ralph Reed 8 years, 3 months ago

@Wolfy. Good comments in both posts.

@Tom. True to form, if you can't write something germane to the thread, be derisive. What are you trying to do, become the new leading poster?

Jimo 8 years, 3 months ago

"I just can’t take this socialist ObamaCare."

As far as I (and I suspect many others) got.

Jimo 8 years, 3 months ago

"Ever since Obama unveiled his moderate, market-driven approach to healthcare reform"

More moderate than the Clinton proposals. More moderate the the GOP alternative offered to those proposals. More moderate than the Nixon Administration's plan.

Yes, market-driven, as in, taking a cartel of non-competition and injecting regulation and competition. You can tell how unconservative today's Republican Party is that they scream from the rafters in favor of a non-market based oligopoly. Apparently, "market" now transmits to "I get to keep the money I loot."

wolfy 8 years, 3 months ago

Jimo- Nothing more needs be said. You nailed it!

jmacfarland 8 years, 3 months ago

Wow, I'm surprised by all the comments. Notajayhawk, if you don't want government in your life, I'd suggest you grow your own food, create your own electricity (and your own lightbulbs and appliances too since they're regulated and tested by the feds), give up your car, don't walk or drive on any roads, start collecting rain water for drinking and showering, etc. etc. As far as the post office goes, they send more mail in a day than UPS and FedEx do in a year. If either were required to provide the same tasks as the PO, they'd be bankrupt or charging you a hell of a lot more than 43 cents to send a letter. Also, as others have pointed out, you are already required/mandated by the govt. to pay for many things like auto insurance. The point of my LTE was that while distrust of the federal govt. may be warranted, you should trust the huge corporations even less. Just look at the 39% premium increase in California. 45,000 people die each year from a lack of coverage and right now the senate is grilling Toyota for the problems with their cars? Why isn't BCBS in the hotseat?

Richard Heckler 8 years, 3 months ago

1793 The first local health department with a permanent board of health was formed in Baltimore, Maryland.

1795 Thomas Paine wrote his pamphlet, "Agrarian Justice," (published in English in 1797) in which he proposed a social insurance program for the nations of Europe and potentially for the young American Republic.

1796 The founding of the Boston Dispensary, Boston, Massachusetts, was the first organized medical care service in New England. This was the recognized forerunner of present day home care programs.

July 16, 1798 The Marine Hospital Service was established by an act of Congress, to provide for the temporary relief and maintenance of sick and disabled seamen. This was the first prepaid medical care program in the United States, financed through compulsory employer tax and federally administered. This service later became the Public Health and Marine Hospital Service, predecessor to the Public Health Service of today.

================================================================== Government run health care is financed as we speak with our tax dollars in the USA. However it requires a huge commitment from americans. It also comes without co-pays and deductibles. Join the Marines,Navy,Army,Air Force and Coast Guard for that is only possible way to get USA Government health care.

Unfortunately the public option insurance will still be managed by the for profit insurance industry thus still a gravy train. BTW the insurance industry as we speak is receiving about $1.2 trillion big government socialist tax dollars every year.... next year it will be more.

What exactly is the concern about big government socialist tax dollars?

georgiahawk 8 years, 3 months ago

Great letter! Let's all rally for the corporations!

Mixolydian 8 years, 3 months ago

Enron? Really?

Why not the Tea Pot Dome scandal?

PosseComitatus 8 years, 3 months ago

Everybody dies it's the only thing guaranteed by your existence. You will die no matter if you have insurance provided by a huge corporation or not.

It used to be if you became old or sick and a burden on your society you would leave your village to die. I guess letting your leaders decide that time for you would be more efficient in a modern society. Of course that decision could be held off as long as you have some type of wealth to extract first.

If we need our leaders to pull the plug for us, how about we keep these decisions at the local level. Then maybe there is a chance that whoever decides the time is right for you might actually know you.

Richard Heckler 8 years, 3 months ago

Healthcare-NOW! opposes the current health legislation:

  1. During the time that it will take for the health insurance legislation to begin (2013 in the House version and 2014 in the Senate version), tens, if not hundreds, of thousands of Americans will die.

  2. Millions of people will remain uninsured: 17 million in the House version and 24 million in the Senate version.

  3. Medical bankruptcies will continue as families will face out-of-pocket costs up to $10,000 in addition to the cost of premiums and the cost of uncovered services.

  4. People who are uninsured will suffer the further indignity of being forced to pay a fine which may be as high as 2.5% of their income (House version).

  5. The number of people who are under-insured will increase. There is no guarantee that premiums will be affordable even for those who qualify for federal subsidies. It offers a “public option” so small and weak (and estimated to be more expensive than private insurance) that it is set up to serve as an example of failure.

  6. People will continue to be consigned to only receiving the quality of care that they can afford. Instead of a standardized benefit plan that covers all necessary care, people will have to choose from a tiered set of plans. The least expensive plans will cover only 60% of necessary care and patients will be required to pay the balance.

  7. The legislation will not control healthcare costs and will increase the waste in healthcare spending. The regulation of insurance companies, which is predicted to fail by industry whistleblowers, will be expensive to enforce. The “exchange” will add another level of bureaucracy which in Massachusetts has added a 4%surcharge to each insurance premium.

  8. Private health insurance will be given 30 million more customers, and its stranglehold on the healthcare industry will be even greater. The legislation transfers hundreds of billions of public dollars to private insurance companies. Between $447 and $605 billion in public dollars (depending on the Senate or House version) will be given to the private insurers in the form of subsidies.

  9. The bill writes into law protection for the drug manufacturers from having to deal with the collective purchasing power of the American people. Pharmaceutical corporations have already raised prices on brand name prescriptions by 9% this year. Bio-tech firms receive a windfall 12 year patent on new pharmaceuticals.

  10. The legislation continues to allow discrimination based on age and immigration status. Older enrollees can be charged up to twice as much as younger enrollees. And enrollees will be required to prove citizenship in order to receive subsidies. Non-citizens will be required to bear the full cost of purchasing insurance.

  11. In order to reach a bare majority to pass the bill, the House accepted limits on the reproductive healthcare rights of women beyond current stringent federal restrictions.

Health Care NOW

Richard Heckler 8 years, 3 months ago

Pushing single-payer off the table has resulted in deeply flawed legislation by the House and Senate which amounts to a massive bailout of the profit-making health industries that will increase their ability to lobby and influence legislators in the future. At the same time, patients will receive little in the way of protection or improved ability to afford needed healthcare. The legislation is designed to fail and in the meantime, will waste billions of dollars and delay the process of creating effective health reform.

Health Care NOW will continue to do everything in our power to support the efforts of Senator Bernie Sanders to submit a substitute single-payer amendment during the Senate debates. This historic opportunity to debate and vote on single-payer from the floor of the Senate will help set the framework for the future. And we will support all efforts to amend existing legislation in ways that would make it easier to achieve state-level single-payer reforms.

Just as we call on Congress to start for scratch, now is the time for all of those who believe that healthcare is a fundamental human right to think about what we need to do to “start from scratch” and build our movement into the future. Many of those who sincerely believed that supporting incremental reforms and the public option was a pathway towards healthcare for all have seen their aspirations betrayed by a failed bargaining strategy embraced by Congressional leaders and the Obama administration. Once this legislative moment is over, we need to join with them in a renewed fight for healthcare for all.

The mission of Healthcare-NOW! is to educate and advocate for a national publicly-funded health system: improved Medicare for all. We will continue to build the Medicare for all movement until we reach the day when all who live in the United States receive the same health security that is a right in other industrialized nations. We welcome all people who support healthcare reform to join with us in this movement. Together, we will succeed.


notajayhawk 8 years, 3 months ago

Wow, no wonder people criticize the free market so much, when there are so many of you who are completely ignorant of what it even means.

Um, folks? If the government mandated that you buy beef, whether you prefer chicken, fish, pork, or are a vegetarian, what do you think would happen to the price of beef? Seriously?

And, um, Jimo? Since you evidently haven't read a newspaper in the past four months or so, the public option died. So where is the new competition? You're being forced by the government to buy a product from the same people that are selling it now.

Have another glass of kool-aid, folks - heck, I'll buy, the entertainment value is priceless.

kansanbygrace 8 years, 3 months ago

There is no free market capitalism. The term is contradictory to itself. Capitalism seeks its own enrichment, and bribes government to enact rules to eliminate any free market forces, and has for a long, long time. That's why the founders of the nation required government to regulate commerce. They knew that greed trumps any mythic "free market" dream if business is not carefully regulated, to defend both consumer and producer from the greed of the merchants, or, if you will, the "capitalists".

JHOK32 8 years, 3 months ago

I have to admit I get sick to my stomach every time I read or hear about what our wonderful Republicans in Kansas have to say about Obama's health reform. The great wisdom of the Kansas Republican Party has threatened not to accept Obama's healthcare even if it gets passed (because of the other idiot Republicans on Capitol Hill). I have one thing to say to these people: How about we (the middle class) take away your jobs, take away your homes, take away your retirement & healthcare, all of which WE (the middle class) pays for you? How about we do for you what you are doing for us.............................NOTHING!!!!!!!!! Let's see what kind of song & dance you can do now when it's you on the street looking for a job with no home, no retirement, no health insurance, etc, etc.

jafs 8 years, 3 months ago


Actually our system does not have to run on greed - businesses can simply choose to make enough money to support their employees and pay their overhead, providing decent products/services at reasonable prices.

That sounds like a win-win situation to me - greed and profit not required.

whats_going_on 8 years, 3 months ago

^except for the fact that no big company is going to all of the sudden stop their greediness. Nice though, not practical.

jafs 8 years, 3 months ago



I was just pointing out that one could have the benefits of free market capitalism without the greed - it's not essential, and certainly doesn't drive everyone who starts a business and just wants to make a living.

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