Letters to the Editor

Positive step

March 18, 2011

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To the editor:

The Affordable Health Care Act will:

• prohibit denial of health insurance to persons with pre-existing conditions.

• eliminate lifetime and annual limits on essential benefits.

• cap annual out-of-pocket expenses, including deductibles and co-pays.

• prohibit insurance companies from rescinding coverage for persons who have major illnesses.

• ensure health plans provide certain preventive services at no cost to consumers.

• provide refundable and advanceable credits to make premiums affordable.

• create nonprofit, member-run health insurance cooperatives to provide affordable, quality health insurance.

The law is not perfect, but it is definitely a step in the right direction.

Comments

ksrush 4 years, 3 months ago

You forgot to mention

Break the country in the process

Crazy_Larry 4 years, 3 months ago

Corrupt politicians, Wall Street bankers and Military-Industrial Complex broke the country and the world. Health care has nothing to do with it.

FTFY.

Scott Drummond 4 years, 3 months ago

A system in which insurance companies are permitted to deny or rescind coverage to sick people also imposes costs. Those who argue against the reforms simply have not been forced to face them.

gudpoynt 4 years, 3 months ago

excellent point scott. What say you LO?

Brock Masters 4 years, 3 months ago

Not to mention that the federal government doesn't have the authority to mandate the purchase of health insurance by individuals. And before those that support the law get their panties in a bunch, I realize that not everyone believes this so we'll have to wait until the SCOTUS rules on it.

Also, our former governor admitted that they were counting dollars twice and the savings are not really there.

Jimo 4 years, 3 months ago

Sure we do. Who in the world would think that there's no power to prevent mooching off the public? And SCOTUS has already ruled on it. All we're "waiting" for is to see if they'll stick to their existing interpretation or whether they prefer to rewrite a century of law. Thomas never did like the law (and has shown himself devoid of any ethics when dealing with his wacko-wife's Tea Party hogbath). Alito can be quite vindictive. The others? Heck it's their own past rulings that are being questioned.

jafs 4 years, 3 months ago

The interstate commerce clause is the one most often used to support the mandate.

It was designed to allow the federal government to regulate interstate commerce.

I'm not at all convinced that the individual mandate to purchase health insurance falls under that umbrella, unless you make the interpretation so broad that it could include virtually anything at all.

Jimo 4 years, 3 months ago

I'm pretty certain that 1/6 of the U.S. economy qualifies as interstate commerce. If it doesn't then nothing would at all.

jafs 4 years, 3 months ago

Except that one purchases health insurance intrastate, not interstate.

So, with that broad an interpretation, any personal purchase can be tied somehow to some interstate commerce, thus any personal purchase can fall under that umbrella.

I'm really sure that wasn't the intent of the clause - it was designed to allow the federal government to set some guidelines for states when trading with one another.

notajayhawk 4 years, 3 months ago

Wow! The Supreme Court ruled a century ago that the federal government could force citizens to buy health insurance! Funny we never heard of that!

I love it, as usual, jimmy boy. Those who prefer to pay for their own health care are "moochers", not the ones trying to get someone else to pay their bills - like you, for instance.

Just

frikkin'

brilliant.

Jimo 4 years, 3 months ago

Those who expect me to pay their way--like you--are moochers.

notajayhawk 4 years, 3 months ago

See, jimmie, I DO pay my own way. You're not even bright enough to realize that it's YOU that's asking someone else to pay yours. But then, we already knew that.

Brock Masters 4 years, 3 months ago

Oh geez, where to start? Should I start with your obvious racism in regards to Thomas? Or should I point out how your remark about his wife might be offensive to people with mental illness?

Nah, I think I'll just mention that you point out the law is a century old and that it is the "others" own ruling that is being questioned. Do you really think the Justices are a hundred years old?

Jimo 4 years, 3 months ago

My obvious racism? lol Fred, I've met Justice Thomas and on more than one occasion. Personally, I like the guy. Judicially, he's been a poor justice. Ethically, he should be impeached. I'd be happy to stipulate that Obama replace him with a different African-American (I can think of well over a dozen qualified appointees).

As to the rest - playing at a dunce might confuse people to believe you're stupid.

usnsnp 4 years, 3 months ago

Of course, you prefer some accountant at a insurance company deciding your medical decisions. You prefer administrative costs of 30% to 40% of private insurance. You prefer large numbers of people in the United States not being able to aquire health insurance, or being under insured. You prefer insurance companys trying to raise cost by over 50% in some cases. If you have adequate health insurance at a resionable cost, count yourself luckey, but how long is it going to last if you loose your job, or the insurance company determines that you medical problem is from a past problem and will not cover your present medical problem. Or are you saying that is a person is not lucky enough to have a good paying job they should not have medical insurance.

notajayhawk 4 years, 3 months ago

"Of course, you prefer some accountant at a insurance company deciding your medical decisions."

You really believe that doesn't happen with government run programs?

Really?

"You prefer administrative costs of 30% to 40% of private insurance."

Oh, well, if we're just going to make things up, then be my guest. At least we know why you approve of Obamacare - because you don't know what you're talking about.

"You prefer large numbers of people in the United States not being able to aquire health insurance, or being under insured."

And all this bill will do is drive the cost of insurance higher. Yeah, that'll help.

"You prefer insurance companys trying to raise cost by over 50% in some cases."

And what, pray tell, in the legislation as passed will prevent them from doing that in the future? Oh, that's right - nothing. As a matter of fact, there are incentives in the legislation for them to keep doing that - or worse.

"Or are you saying that is a person is not lucky enough to have a good paying job they should not have medical insurance."

If a person is not "lucky" enough to have a good paying job (what "luck" has to do with that, we won't even get into), they also can't afford to send their kids to college, a house of their own, or luxuries like - oh, I don't know - food, for example.

One of these days one of you liberals - maybe - will realize there's a difference between the need for health CARE and health insurance.

Crazy_Larry 4 years, 3 months ago

We Are Many - Hackensaw Boys

Our names are unimportant where we live, we're looking for it. What we know, we do believe in, is the love of a friend.

Now on you leftside is you brother on your rightside is you sister right behind you that's your family right in front of you is your life to live.

Our names are unimportant where we live, we're looking for it What we know, we do believe in, is the love of a friend.

Now on you leftside is you brother on your rightside is you sister right behind you that's your family right in front of you is your life to live.


We the People. Bullets for Bigots.

cato_the_elder 4 years, 3 months ago

If you're 35 years old, and you still feel invincible, contemplate waiting two years for a knee replacement a few decades hence when you may need it. That time will come more quickly than you realize, and Obamacare has been very intentionally designed to be the first step down that road.

As the letter writer states, Obamacare is only a step - and quite clearly a step in the wrong direction.

Scott Drummond 4 years, 3 months ago

And 1 in every 6 American citizens doesn't have to dream of some future wait for knee surgery. They have no insurance today and face the grim prospect of doing without medical care until their condition is so severe it requires intervention. We've been too far down this road, if you ask me, and it's time we started working toward a more equitable arrangement.

cato_the_elder 4 years, 3 months ago

And at least 4 out of 7 of the benefits described by the letter writer would have been acceptable to most congressional Republicans, who were shut out of the discussion because they opposed the Democrats' larger goal of government takeover of our health care.

jafs 4 years, 3 months ago

The phrase "government takeover of health care" won the dubious honor of "Lie of the Year" from a well known fact checking organization.

cato_the_elder 4 years, 3 months ago

Which, if correctly reported, is itself a blatant lie.

notajayhawk 4 years, 3 months ago

"it's time we started working toward a more equitable arrangement"

Equitable, in this case, meaning "get someone ELSE to pay for it."

Crazy_Larry 4 years, 3 months ago

People shouldn't go bankrupt because of illness or injury. The existing system was clearly busted...the new plan my not be perfect but it's a step in the right direction. Any fool can look at worldwide health statistics and see that the USA's for profit healthcare system sucks. HELLO!

http://www.who.int/whosis/whostat/en/

cato_the_elder 4 years, 3 months ago

Which is, of course, why tens of thousands of Canadians every year cross the border into America in order to receive the kind of quality health care that they can't get in Canada.

cato_the_elder 4 years, 3 months ago

Why don't you find me an unbiased source that says I'm wrong.

Olympics 4 years, 3 months ago

Cato doesn't need data. Reality has a well known liberal bias.

cato_the_elder 4 years, 3 months ago

Reality has no bias. I'm now observing the sun rising in Douglas County, Kansas. It so happens that it's rising in the east. The source for this information is observation. In fact, I've made that observation on most mornings during most of my life.

So have the people at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota. They're also quite well aware of the number of Canadians who come there yearly for medical treatment. Mayo has a full-time office in Canada to handle requests by Canadians for treatment in America.

If you're actually interested in facts rather than making another snotty comment, I suggest that you study the findings of the Canadian Fraser Institute on severe delays in receiving medical treatment under the Canadian government-run health care system.

Flap Doodle 4 years, 3 months ago

Here's a real positive step: "ASBURY PARK, N.J. (AP) - A central New Jersey elementary school that was renamed in honor of President Barack Obama last year will soon be closed..." http://www.9news.com/news/world/188079/347/NJ-elementary-school-named-for-Obama-will-close-?odyssey=mod|newswell|text|FRONTPAGE|t

Kirk Larson 4 years, 3 months ago

It was a 100 year old school they had planned to replace anyway.

pizzapete 4 years, 3 months ago

I wish we could do away with insurance for health care all together. Do people in Canada need to buy health insurance? Basic things like health care and education should be provided for.

Flap Doodle 4 years, 3 months ago

Yes, there is private health insurance in Canada. For example: "...Under the Canada Health Act, all necessary drug therapy administered within a Canadian hospital setting is insured and publicly funded. Outside of the hospital setting, provincial and territorial governments are responsible for the administration of their own publicly-funded prescription drug benefit programs. Most Canadians have access to insurance coverage for prescription medicines through public and/or private insurance plans. The federal, provincial and territorial governments offer varying levels of coverage, with different eligibility requirements, premiums and deductibles. The publicly-funded drug programs generally provide insurance coverage for those most in need, based on age, income, and medical condition...." http://www.hc-sc.gc.ca/hcs-sss/pharma/acces/index-eng.php Notice the "...private insurance plans..." clause. Also the "...generally provide..." weasel words. Also that there are still eligibility requirements, premiums and deductables.

jafs 4 years, 3 months ago

Yes, there are private insurance plans, but the vast majority of your quote referred to publicly funded health care and insurance.

"insured and publicly funded" "publicly-funded prescription drug benefits" "public and/or private insurance plans" "publicly-funded drug programs"

notajayhawk 4 years, 3 months ago

And the majority of Canadians carry private insurance to cover all the things that the public program doesn't. Which is quite a bit.

devobrun 4 years, 3 months ago

Mr. Coan's first 6 bullet points all cost money. The increased care provided by each of the actions will cost money. You cannot deny that increased care to more people will cost money. Then he gives a last bullet point

"create nonprofit, member-run health insurance cooperatives to provide affordable, quality health insurance."

He dares to use affordable in the sentence. If by affordable he means affordable to the individual, then yes. If he means affordable to society, then no.

If health care becomes non-profit, then tax revenues will decrease. If care increases and the government pays for it, where will it get the money?

Finally he says that the law is not perfect. No, Clark, the law is unattainable. It won't happen because it will immediately prove quite underfunded. It won't work and it will hardly get started. The next few years will be a dismantling of the law as costs become clear and revenues continue to drop.

Crazy_Larry 4 years, 3 months ago

Our country spends more money on military and homeland defense than the rest of the world, COMBINED! Krom forbid we actually reign in the Military-Industrial Complex, cut the defense budget and pay for people's health care.

http://www.globalsecurity.org/military/world/spending.htm

We are the richest country in the world. There's no excuse for citizens suffering because they can't afford to see a doctor, or going bankrupt because they have an accident or illness.

notajayhawk 4 years, 3 months ago

No, it's much better if everybody goes bankrupt because one person has an injury or illness.

Crazy_Larry 4 years, 3 months ago

Our country (everyone) is bankrupt because of Wall Street corruption and neverending war.

Despite having the most costly health system in the world, the United States consistently underperforms on most dimensions of performance, relative to other countries.

http://www.commonwealthfund.org/~/media/Files/Publications/Fund%20Report/2010/Jun/1400_Davis_Mirror_Mirror_on_the_wall_2010.pdf

The United States is the only developed country in the world that does not provide healthcare for its citizens. It's such a great healthcare system that it ranks 37th in the world. And we're the 'richest' country in the world! LOL!

http://dll.umaine.edu/ble/U.S.%20HCweb.pdf

Obama's healthcare reforms may not be perfect, but it's a step in the right direction. How many times have you been perfect? The present system is so screwed up that we'd be insane to not do something to try and change/improve it. Obama perturbed the healthcare system...let it find a new balance and if that doesn't work then we perturb the system again and again until everyone can live with.

Instead of demanding everyone buy health insurance (which is a give away or bailout for the insurance industry) we should expand medicaid/medicare and make it available to every citizen. IMHO.

notajayhawk 4 years, 3 months ago

Lordie! Is there a single one of you liberals - just one - that understands the difference between "health" and "health care"? Just one?

There is simply no objective, quantifiable measure that can be used to accurately compare the 'output' of a health care system, larry. None. The rankings you're looking at, the measures they use to calculate those rankings, are not indicators of the quality of the health care systems in different countries, but measures of overall HEALTH. The clearest example is the infant mortality rates that you liberals are so fond of throwing around here. Yes, our infant mortality rate is higher than in many other countries. Funny thing, though: The leading causes of infant mortality have absolutely nothing to do with our health care system.

Try learning just a little bit about the issues you choose to argue, larry. You're entitled to your opinion like anyone else, but it really helps if those opinions are based in fact and in reality.

Crazy_Larry 4 years, 3 months ago

Wouldn't measures of "health" indicate the quality of the "health care" system? The World Health Organization doesn't know a dang thing now, do they? That's what I thought... You need to quit drinking that cool-aid they're handing out.

Paul Youk 4 years, 3 months ago

Privatized health care costs more:

http://www.visualeconomics.com/healthcare-costs-around-the-world_2010-03-01/

The waste of redundant inefficient private bureaucracy combined with the absurd salaries made by insurance company CEOs and corporate execs are two important reasons for this. Could you imagine if there was a proposed nationalized alternative that included paying the people at the top 10-30 million dollars in salary, with umpteen million more in benefits and ownership privileges (stocks in the private sector)? The health-care haters would riot, even as they have no problem with a wasteful broken private system creating this same irrationality.

Extremely top heavy salaries are a huge social burden and an economic risk. Even within companies, they pose a great moral hazard. In such situations, the individual with the power in the situation will often be incentivized to act in a way that benefits the self, even to the detriment of the company.

You make some good points Clark, but unfortunately I think our governmental structure is ultimately too strongly influenced by the same corporate and private interests they are feigning to reform in order for such laws to be effective.

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