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Letters to the Editor

Letter: Insurance boon

January 4, 2014

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To the editor:

Finally! At age 60, after more than three years of NO health insurance, one year of being unemployed, two years of part-time work without benefits (but I love my job), and having just barely achieved an annual income of 100 percent of the federal poverty level; I finally have health insurance again.

I would have been tickled if Gov. Brownback would have expanded Medicaid. But, sadly, never have I been so overjoyed to be so poor. For about $60 per month, I qualify for a plan with a $250 annual deductible and a $500-per-year maximum out-of-pocket expense limit. (Silver plans have the additional feature of subsidized cost-sharing expenses if you qualify.) And colonoscopies and mammograms are FREE for everyone! This must be what it feels like to win the lottery. Oh, wait, I just did win the lottery. The Affordable Care Act lottery. And isn’t that just a pitiful way to look at it?

“Shameful” is not a strong enough adjective to describe the actions of our governor and congressional representatives. Gov. Brownback refused to expand Medicaid, yet would not accept federal money to set up an insurance exchange at the state level. Kansas’ all-Republican congressional delegation continuously opposed the Affordable Care Act and supported all efforts to repeal it, including shutting down the federal government for 16 days (all while collecting their $174,000 annual salary).

When our governor and congressional representatives play politics with people’s lives, yet claim to follow Jesus, it’s time for them to get kicked out of their “temples.”

Comments

Cait McKnelly 3 months ago

I fully expect that in ten years it will no longer be "Obamacare" but the ACA and the GOP will take credit for it.

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Richard Heckler 3 months ago

It's good that Ms Henderson took some time to offer some facts countering the nonsense rhetoric.

The nation shells out more than 1.4 trillion tax dollars to the medical insurance industry annually. Bringing all in America under the Medicare Single Payer umbrella for less than than that would be fiscally responsible. The coverage would awesome. May as well get the best bang for the tax buck I say. The money is there why increase taxes or ask business people to pay?

IMPROVED Medicare Single Payer Insurance for ALL would cover every person for all necessary medical care 24/7 to include:

Wellness /prescription drugs / hospital / surgical / outpatient services / primary and preventive care / emergency services / dental / mental health / home health / physical therapy / rehabilitation (including for substance abuse) / vision care / hearing services including hearing aids / chiropractic / medical equipment / palliative care / long term care

No deductibles / No Co-pays ( some facts regarding respectable savings) http://www.healthcare-now.org/docs/spreport.pdf

http://www.pnhp.org/facts/single-payer-resources Physicians for a National Health Program

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Mike Ford 3 months, 1 week ago

gee from 2000 to 2011 my premiums went from $36 to $73 a week four times a month. Not a coincidence I guess.

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Steve King 3 months, 1 week ago

Insurance companies profits rose from 2.5 billion to 12.5 billion from 2001-2008. Premiums rose 150% in the same time period.

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Richard Heckler 3 months, 1 week ago

A Simpler, Better Solution

By David Himmelstein and Steffie Woolhandler_The New York Times, Room for Debate, May 29, 2013.

David Himmelstein and Steffie Woolhandler are professors at the City University School of Public Health at Hunter College and visiting professors at Harvard Medical School.

They are co-founders of Physicians for a National Health Program.

http://www.pnhp.org/news/2013/november/a-simpler-better-solution

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Mike Ford 3 months, 1 week ago

the irony of one comment is that ACA was seen as a beginning point to solve a longtime problem of this country and it's uninsured populace. It's fairly embarrassing that a country we've had an embargo on since 1962 has better insurance than the US does. The ACA had provision for Medicaid expansion and state exchange expansion which would've made any of the launch problems of Healthcare.Gov a non issue. However when there are head in the sand anarchists who don't care about their fellow citizens who wish for things not to work what can be done? The GOP has no plan whatsoever and has repeated wholesale fibs for what four years. If one party does nothing to help solve a nationwide issue of humanity and acts as if their whole plan is to put the US in the driveway like a car on blocks I guess it's up to the Democrats to act like the adults here.

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Bob Smith 3 months, 1 week ago

In other rule-by-decree news: "…“We support allowing citizens to keep their health insurance coverage, but the only way to fix this problem-ridden law is to enact changes lawfully: through Congressional action,” the attorneys general wrote in a letter to Health and Human Services (HHS) Secretary Kathleen Sebelius. “The illegal actions by this administration must stop.” They say the healthcare fix was “flatly illegal under federal constitutional and statutory law.”…" http://thehill.com/blogs/healthwatch/health-reform-implementation/194265-11-gop-attorneys-general-accuse-obama-of-using

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Richard Heckler 3 months, 1 week ago

A lot of those allegedly paying more are likely paying less because more millions will be paying into the pie. Some of those paying more may well find their insurance costs go from $18,000-$20,000 per year to something like $10,000 or less per year,

A lot of those allegedly paying more have been paying more for decades because 50 million could never afford the discriminating medical insurance industry.

If costs go up blame the insurance and pharmaceutical industries because they spend zillions of health care dollars on political campaigns to keep the very very profitable status quo which protects the annual flow of about $1.4 trillion tax dollars flowing into their cookie jars.

How is it CEO's are paid millions upon millions and receive millions upon millions for a retirement bonus? I believe it was a United CEO who received a $73 million golden parachute. Between the obscene salaries and golden parachutes and special interest campaign spending think how many more house holds could be afforded medical insurance.

I say dump the CEO's,BOD's and dump special interest campaign spending and dump the golden parachutes which demonstrate some reckless spending of health care $$$$$$$$$.

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Steve King 3 months, 1 week ago

My rates went down from $3,200 to $1,300 a month with a lower deductible and the same coverage. We signed up on the website with no challenges and received no credits. Because we're in a bigger pool. We already have our insurance cards. Everyone I know is having the same experience. If your rate went up maybe you had bad insurance.

We spent a billion a month in Iraq. We can't spare a couple of billion a year to help the less fortunate in our own country? Nonsense.

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Mike Ford 3 months, 1 week ago

actually I work fulltime and it lowered my insurance costs greatly and I again have real insurance. You gotta love Kansas or any other red state. Repeat fibs until many believe it's true. FOXNEWS should've patented this approach.

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Brock Masters 3 months, 1 week ago

Keep in mind how we came to have the ACA. It was rammed down the throats of the American people who did not support it by using a political tactic to suppress a vote on it in Congress.

Why is this important? Because power is fleeting and at some point the GOP will be back in power. Who knows what they might force upon the people. The end does not justify the means.

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Brock Masters 3 months, 1 week ago

ACA = largest tax increase ever.

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Leslie Swearingen 3 months, 1 week ago

I am astonished at the comments on here. Perhaps, like many others, she has health problems that are serious, even life threatening, and need to be monitered.

There needs to be a way to get basic health care for everyone and to motivate people to get regular preventative care instead of waiting until life is threatened and then go to the emergency room. There are health problems that can be prevented, and believe me I know how hard it is to do that, because for some reason it just doesn't seem real until the macines are hooked up and you realize you have just run out into the street during rush hour traffic and are astonished that you got run over. (Metaphorically speaking.)

I do realize that the middle class are suffering because they don't qualify for any help and are increasingly in difficulty making essential payments. They also have elder parents who need more care which is worisome for all on so many levels. But, please do not take out your worry and frustration on those who need health care.

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Scott Burkhart 3 months, 1 week ago

Melinda, I am truly pleased that you have healthcare that you can afford. It was not necessary for the Democrat Party and President Obama to traumatize the country with this law and all of the fiascos that have accompanied it, to achieve that end.

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Beator 3 months, 1 week ago

I could have sworn I was told differently.... The number of costly emergency room visits is set to soar under Obamacare, according to a "gold standard" Harvard study, which directly contradicts claims by President Barack Obama that his healthcare law would cut ER trips.

http://www.sciencemag.org/content/early/2014/01/02/science.1246183

Katherine Baicker, an economist at the Harvard School of Public Health, said the study, which she helped to write, concluded that people who gained Medicaid coverage used ERs more often for "a broad range of types of visits, conditions and subgroups," including problems that could be treated in less costly settings

.http://www.businessweek.com/news/2014-01-02/obamacare-s-medicaid-expansion-may-create-oregon-like-er-strain

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Keith Richards 3 months, 1 week ago

Congratulations on your "lottery" win Melinda. But just like a lottery, everyone else loses. Between myself and two other family members, our combined monthly health insurance increase is over $300.00 a month. You can thank my kids who will do with less with what I earn so you can have something you did not earn.

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Julius Nolan 3 months, 1 week ago

See the Fox News junkies are up and in full rant on this cold day.

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Rick Johnson 3 months, 1 week ago

“You cannot legislate the poor into freedom by legislating the wealthy out of freedom. What one person receives without working for, another person must work for without receiving. The government cannot give to anybody anything that the government does not first take from somebody else. When half of the people get the idea that they do not have to work because the other half is going to take care of them, and when the other half gets the idea that it does no good to work because somebody else is going to get what they work for, that my dear friend, is about the end of any nation. You cannot multiply wealth by dividing it.”

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Bob Smith 3 months, 1 week ago

To subsidize your low rates, millions of people are paying much more per month and will have higher deductibles. They will also be losing access to the doctors they've used for years and the hospitals they've built relationships with.

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Rick Johnson 3 months, 1 week ago

Obamacare is just another word for welfare. IF you are not paying for your health insurance, your neighbors are! So thank your next door neighbor who is working their butts off for your free coverage the next time you see them!

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