Letters to the Editor

Unsustainable plan

January 15, 2011


To the editor:

The Public Forum letter titled “Be selective” requests being selective about cutting or not repealing the Affordable (Health) Care Act.

Beware of benefits from a government that is here to help you. We do not deny a need for health care reform, just not a 2,000-page morass of a law that includes hiring a projected 16,000 IRS agents to enforce the law. We need enforcement agents for something so wonderful?

This act is economically unsustainable. I know what the CBO says. But anyone can make a project work with 10 years of income and six years of expenditures. So debating “government speak economics” will not get us closer to justifying the current law.

We can’t speak intelligently about the law because The Department of Health & Human Services (HHS) has yet to write the many provisions required because our elected officials passed the “buck”!

Why has President Obama and HHS granted 222 organizations waivers from the law? (See: http://www.hhs. gov/ociio/regulations/approved_applications_for_waiver.html for a list of waivers granted through Dec. 7, 2010.) Why did HHS have to write a rule to grant exemptions if the law is so economical and has wonderful benefits?

Government-run Medicare and Medicaid programs are going broke. Medicare has rising premiums, reduced payments to doctors and rising premiums for Medigap insurance. Medicaid is being eliminated for some. Don’t be seduced by promises the government has already proven they can’t sustain.

Let’s provide common sense health care reform that supports a growing economy and decent jobs?


VTHawk 7 years, 5 months ago

Some other accounting "tricks" used to make it seem like a reduction in expenditures:

1) excludes the $115 billion needed to implement the law ... 2) double-counts $521 billion in Social Security payroll taxes, CLASS Act premiums, and Medicare cuts ... 3) strips a costly doc-fix provision that was included in initial score ...

The HCR act is going to push even more companies to outsource or reduce hiring. I can't imagine that small business owners are going to be able to cope with the additional costs.

Kookamooka 7 years, 5 months ago

You all are forgetting what the unregulated banking industry did to our economy. We wouldn't be in this mess had there been adequate regulation. Without universal healthcare, this country is going to implode on its own greed. Privatization is bad. Big Government is good. Redistribution of wealth is critical or you will be looking at a revolution.

VTHawk 7 years, 5 months ago

It was regulation that got us into this mess to begin with. The regulators wanted easy credit so that minorities could afford housing. Congressmen like Barney Frank threatened to go after banks that didn't offer easy credit to minorities!

If the fraud at the front end had been stopped, the crisis never would have happened. Unfortunately, the government was all about encouraging the growth of easy credit.

mr_right_wing 7 years, 5 months ago

Lots of screwed-up facts and thinking there MJ.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 7 years, 5 months ago

"We can’t speak intelligently about the law"

The most accurate statement in this letter.

jafs 7 years, 5 months ago

There are some substantive points in the letter.

For example, the fact that the system is funded for 10 years, but expenditures don't start for the first 4 makes the analysis somewhat suspect, and that 10 year window is the one used.

That would mean that the system is only sustainable if the funding continues at that level and expenditures are limited to 6/10 of the time period.

Is that likely to happen?

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 7 years, 5 months ago

There is no shortage of valid complaints about "Obamacare," but I don't believe for a second that this Republican Congress has the slightest interest in making any improvements to the healthcare system.

Nor do I believe that they'll do anything to fix the very fixable problems with Medicare or Medicaid-- they are too invested in the ideology that government is evil to do anything but pursue self-fulfilling and self-serving prophesies.

JHOK32 7 years, 5 months ago

MJ Brown is absolutely right on target. During the 1980's we were introduced to "Reagonomics" i.e. de-regulate everything & let the chips fall where they may. We de-regulated the banking industry & millions of good Americans have lost their jobs, their homes, their health insurance, retirement plans, & savings. These millions of good Americans are paying in blood so that a small group of VERY GREEDY individuals could get richer. When I bought my first home many decades ago I had to put 20% down on the barrelhead to get my home. During the last decade banks were "loaning" 120% on what a house was worth. I've never had one business class in my life but I can tell you that it is just plain stupid for any bank to do this! Anyone remotely connected to the housing industry is now paying for this insanity. We might as well just sold everything we've ever worked for all of our lives & just handed it to the big bankers on Wall street because this is exactly what has happened. We must not forget that bankers make good money by just pushing paper around everytime someone re-finances their house. They would love for you to re-finance your house every year! This is not even to mention the purely illegal acts that some bankers were part of by lying on applications about applicant incomes just to push the loan through so they could get their money once again for pushing paper around. The bankers should be jailed for this illegal activity - & not at some "Holliday Inn" jail like Martha Stewart got for illegal stock trading - a real prison. Mr. Bush got on national TV & teary-eyed told the American people that these greedy bankers were "to big to fail." Maybe if we let them lose THEIR life savings, THEIR homes (& vacation homes), THEIR health insurance, & THEIR retirement accounts, then maybe it would not happen again. Instead, our government PAID THEM to do this to us!!!! This is insanity!!!

voevoda 7 years, 5 months ago

Real health care reform would end up costing the country a lot less. If the right-wing fear machine would get out of the way, we could have it. In the meantime, let's keep what we've got. Our own KS insurance commissioner, a Republican, has pointed out its benefits to the state of the Obama administration health insurance reform.

pace 7 years, 5 months ago

Lets pray our health care reform doesn't get repealed.

Scott Morgan 7 years, 5 months ago

What has health care reform done for you to pray for? I'm serious, what. Under Clinton insurance portability was made law. I keep hearing this reform is new under Obama. Besides portability what in tarnation has been accomplished for an individual to feel good about.

pace 7 years, 5 months ago

no, you aren't convincing, You seem to be babbling. . A checkup might be a good idea. I hope you have access to health care.

weeslicket 7 years, 5 months ago

ah, the old chinese blessing: "may you live in interesting times"

just my opinion: the medical and insurance options americans have right now is not working for many of us. our elected leaders have a responsibility to resolve these conflicts (most, not all).

the affordable health care act went a long ways in providing for those solutions. it's not a perfect plan, but repealing it whole-clothe is nothing more than a failed (or successful) plan A, without a plan B.

i trust that a realistic health and insurance plan really exists out there. but, i am a little leery that our elected leadership will be able to find that reasonable compromise, or then be able agree to it, or then actually vote in favor of this imaginary sensible compromise.

and now i wait.

Abdu Omar 7 years, 5 months ago

I agree that there is a cure for health care. I am not sure that Obama Care is it but it is better than what the Repuplicans proposed which was nothing. So tear down something we have and replace it with nothing??!! Is this the best we can do? Is this the total of the Repub platform?

If there is something that the Healthcare plan doesn't do, fix it, but leave it intact so it can work for those who need it.

Orwell 7 years, 5 months ago

"…a projected 16,000 IRS agents to enforce the law"

This is a partisan falsehood debunked by numerous reputable sources.

When you can't support your argument with facts, just try lies.

David Reynolds 7 years, 5 months ago

Well Orwell I just did some research for you. According to the CBO: "The IRS budget would necessarily grow by the $10 billion. (Congressional Budget Office, "H.R. 3590, Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act," p. 5 (March 11, 2010)." According to 2009 IRS Data , in total, the IRS had payroll and benefit expenses of $8.371 billion, implying that costs per worker were $90,427. If the $1.5 billion in annual funds are used for the payroll and benefits of a similar mix of employees, the IRS could add more than 16,500 additional agents, auditors, examiners, and administrative support personnel to enforce large portions of the nation's health insurance system.

Orwell please do some research before you comment.

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