Letters to the Editor

Letter: The Undeserving

September 24, 2013


To the editor:

I want to express my appreciation to Lynn Jenkins and her colleagues in the U.S. House of Representatives for their steadfast efforts to keep health care from the Undeserving (i.e., the poor). They just voted again — for the 24th, 25th time; I’ve lost count — to abolish the Affordable Care Act. They are like Sisyphus pushing the rock or a dung beetle pushing ... well, never mind. They seem to be acting in good conscience from a philosophy of Social Darwinism: Them that have earned it deserve it; them that didn’t don’t.

And our Republican governor certainly has done his part by refusing to allow expansion of Medicaid to needy but obviously Undeserving (i.e., poor) citizens of Kansas.

Actually, the central domestic issue facing our great nation is the unfair distribution of the wealth in our great nation. There still is too much of it in the hands of the Undeserving (i.e., the poor) who don’t know much about money anyway. Republicans in Congress and in Topeka are doing their best to retain as much wealth as possible for the Truly Deserving (i.e., the rich). Please remember our congressional representatives and our governor at election time.


Cait McKnelly 4 years, 9 months ago

Oh believe me, the GOP believes in welfare. They just call it "subsidies".
The House has actually voted to repeal/defund the ACA forty two times. FORTY TWO TIMES. At a cost of over 54 million dollars to American taxpayers. Now they are holding the Federal budget hostage to it (again), threatening to force the American government into default if they don't get their way.
That little bit blows me away. You ask the GOP why they are so much against the ACA and they will say, "Because it will wreck the economy." So, to get their way, they threaten to do something that won't just "wreck the economy" it will sink it like the Titanic.
The WSJ (Rupert Murdoch's print outlet) printed an op-ed that was quite panicky, telling the GOP that if they force the country into default, it WILL hand the House to the Dems.
So, Mr Boehner, good luck with this. Your teabilly pals are about to run your party right off of a cliff.

Saul_Goodman 4 years, 9 months ago

Anyone trying to stop Obamacare needs to explain what their healthcare plan is. Regardless of how anyone feels about it, the ACA is a response to a very real problem. The old system is inefficient, ineffective, and financially unsustainable in the long run. If you've got a better plan let's hear it, otherwise quit grandstanding and get to work doing the People's business.

nativeson 4 years, 9 months ago

The entire situation with the Affordable Care Act reflects how dysfunctional our federal system has become in recent decades. As in typical fashion, it is a great idea in concept and a poor bill in its execution.

Over time, I am hopeful that the individual mandate has some teeth to it so that we actually get participation by younger and healthier participants. At this point, a $95 fine on your taxes (in 2014) will not induce someone to pay several hundred dollars a month for coverage.

My concern is that we will have adverse selection in the exchanges. The people who need coverage and are the most expensive to cover will elect to participate, and the healthy folks will not since there is no economic incentive to do so. This will balloon the federal budget and not significantly impact the number of uninsured.

Overarching all of this is Medicare. We will have twice as many enrollees in 15 years, and the health care system is ill-prepared for this transition. Currently, participants do not pay in near as much into the system as they take out in benefits.

So, what are we talking about now? Grinding the government to a halt, pointing fingers and fighting over a piece of legislation that in no way is the entire picture as it relates to the future of the economics of health care.

Catalano 4 years, 9 months ago

"Several hundred dollars a month"? Show me your data, please.

Liberty275 4 years, 9 months ago

The ACA calculator put the price from an exchange for insurance for my wife and I at about $8400/Yr, and that was lowballing our income.

Last year we paid $7200 and had much better than the silver plan the calculator based it's estimate on.

jafs 4 years, 9 months ago

Yes, the ACA would work better if the penalty were higher, and states were forced to expand Medicaid.

But, the SC changed those provisions, so they can't just do those things now.

Phoghorn 4 years, 9 months ago

There was a time when we did not have a massive health insurance network. Thus, if a doctor wanted to stay in business, he or she could not charge more than what customers could pay. If they did, they would see a great reduction in business as patients had the ability to choose a doctor that provided the same service for a better value.

Now, a doctor or hospital can charge exorbitant amounts of money because, "the insurance company can pay for it". Of course, we the patients pay for it one way or the other thanks to our insurance premiums.

If we got rid of insurance, health care costs would plummet dramatically.

The problem is the insurance industry, not the health care industry. Unfortunately, the Affordable Health Care Act (Obamacare), does not affect the health insurance industry except to require that we purchase their product. This will simply increase the costs of a doctor or hospital visit.

Cait McKnelly 4 years, 9 months ago

Actually, the ACA DOES effect the insurance industry, starting with the fact that no more than 15% of premiums paid can be applied to administrative costs. (Given that some insurance companies take up to as much of 25% of your premium for "administrative costs" and profit, this is actually quite a change.)
Secondly, NO ONE can now be turned down for insurance due to preexisting conditions and the law does away with lifetime caps on benefits.
So yeah, it's going to effect the industry quite a bit.

Phoghorn 4 years, 9 months ago

Which will then put many insurers out of business, giving the Federal Government a monopoly - in other words, we are going to single payer someday if we follow the current course.

The only thing worse than the current insurance mess will be a monopoly on insurance or a single payer system where the government is the monopoly.

Then doctors and hospitals will be able to charge even higher prices because "the government will pay for it". Of course, we will be paying for it in taxes.

Patient-Doctor > Patient-Insurance Company-Doctor > Patient-Government-Doctor

Cheryl Nelsen 4 years, 9 months ago

This is satire, isn't it? The reason it is hard to tell is because some people actually think this way.

tomatogrower 4 years, 9 months ago

So do you propose price control? Besides your $200 is probably paying for all those who use the hospital for free. So now they will have to have insurance.

voevoda 4 years, 9 months ago

It is the routine doctor visits that keep early-stage illnesses from growing into serious and costly ones. So it is cost-effective for insurance to pay for routine care.

bearded_gnome 4 years, 9 months ago

^^above: Secondly, NO ONE can now be turned down for insurance due to preexisting conditions and the law does away with lifetime caps on benefits.

---and you think the costs of these along with all the other mandates like keeping 26-hyear-olds on their parents' policies just magically appears?

this is how the costs get pushed way up instead of decreasing costs.

turning health insurance from actual catastrophic insurance into an entitlement vastly increases costs, pushes people off of their previous healthcare, and is now even deforming our employment. now, thanks to obamacare, far too many part time jobs are being offered. total jobs in the economy have shrunk by nearly 2million. some of that is because of obamacare effects too.

bearded_gnome 4 years, 9 months ago

it is sad to see the letter writer, a psychiatrist, engage in such ignorant slurring of his political opponents. he knows better than what he writes about the motivations of republicans.

first, obamacare is in many ways making things worse than before.

second, yes, republicans have a plan and have had one. but the democrats are owned by the trial lawyers and won't ever work to reduce malpractice and defensive medicine costs. this is certainly a fact Dr. Douglas must know and confront in his own practice. these costs add much to the overall cost of healthcare.

bearded_gnome 4 years, 9 months ago

price controls never work and lead to shortages naturally.

big government solutions invariably have many unintended consequences.

that $200 ER visit comes about by lowering malpractice/defensive medicine, getting government out of the way, enabling patients to have greater choice about how their healthcare dollars get spent.

Janella Williams 4 years, 9 months ago

Here is the truth on what it does and how it helps: • Ends Pre-Existing Condition Exclusions for Children: Health plans can no longer limit or deny benefits to children under 19 due to a pre-existing condition. This gets expanded to everyone in 2014. • Keeps Young Adults Covered: If you are under 26, you may be eligible to be covered under your parent’s health plan. • Ends Arbitrary Withdrawals of Insurance Coverage: Insurers can no longer cancel your coverage just because you made an honest mistake. • Guarantees Your Right to Appeal: You now have the right to ask that your plan reconsider its denial of payment. • Ends Lifetime Limits on Coverage: Lifetime limits on most benefits are banned for all new health insurance plans. This helps people, who because of an illness that is long lasting or expensive, will meet the insurance policy lifetime limit. • Reviews Premium Increases: Insurance companies must now publicly justify any unreasonable rate hikes. • Helps You Get the Most from Your Premium Dollars: Your premium dollars must be spent primarily on health care – not administrative costs. • Covers Preventive Care at No Cost to You: You may be eligible for recommended preventive health services. No copayment. • Protects Your Choice of Doctors: Choose the primary care doctor you want from your plan’s network. • Removes Insurance Company Barriers to Emergency Services: You can seek emergency care at a hospital outside of your health plan’s network.

Phoghorn 4 years, 9 months ago

Nothing in life is free. All of these wonderful sounding ideas have unintended consequences.

Richard Heckler 4 years, 9 months ago

In a nutshell it is all about campaign money money money which is to say consumers/taxpayers are being taken for fools.

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

Insurers Wrongfully Charging Consumers Billions http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2009/06/24/AR2009062401636.html

Former aides and elected officials spending $1.4 million a day to support the most expensive medical insurance in the world == corruption at its' finest. http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2009/07/05/AR2009070502770.html

Cait McKnelly 4 years, 9 months ago

Tim Huelskamp's family has received over 2 million dollars in direct farm subsidies in the last 16 years. It would take ONE food stamp recipient over 450 years to get the same amount of money in aid. Please tell me what the "unintended consequences" were for Uncle Timmy's family gaming the system? Oh, that's right. There aren't any for "them", is there.

Richard Heckler 4 years, 9 months ago

Thanks Mr Douglas for taking the time. Your points are well taken.

Commenting has been disabled for this item.