Opinion

Opinion

Letter to the editor: Health bill fairness

June 15, 2017

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To the editor:

Most Americans who have been paying attention to health reform remember the conservative furor that arose in 2010 when Rep. Nancy Pelosi, then speaker of the House, uttered these famous words: “Congress has to pass the bill so you can find out what’s in it.”

After months of hearings and many Republican amendments offered and accepted, the Affordable Care Act was passed by Democrats after Republicans refused to support even their own ideas and amendments.

Fast forward to June 2017, with a group of male senators working quickly in secret to formulate ACA repeal. Other senators — even our own delegation — do not know what’s in the bill, much less the American public. The health sector accounts for one-sixth of the US economy. It is the height of hypocrisy and fiscal irresponsibility for Republicans, after slamming Pelosi in 2010, to accept a secret bill that affects the lives of millions of Americans without a single hearing.

If you criticized Pelosi for those words, you cannot excuse your lack of concern about Senate Republicans’ secret deliberations of a hugely unpopular bill. We all must tell our senators that this is not the way.

Comments

Richard Heckler 2 months ago

Senate Republicans Hope You Won’t Notice They’re About to Repeal Obamacare

Quickly and in secret — that’s how lawmakers operate when they’re about to pass legislation that is both harmful and deeply unpopular. (STINKS LIKE ALEC)

Last week, while everyone was distracted by former FBI Director James Comey’s testimony, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell put the Republican health care overhaul on fast track.

His caucus is writing its bill in secret, and McConnell’s move means he could bring the legislation up for a vote anytime, without holding a single public hearing. All signs indicate that Senate Republicans are preparing to copy their colleagues in the House and jam through a massively destructive piece of legislation before the public knows what’s going on.

Missouri Democrat Claire McCaskill raised the alarm during a Thursday hearing on the Department of Health and Human Services budget. “Will we have a hearing on the health care proposal?” McCaskill asked pointedly of a flummoxed Orrin Hatch, the chairman of the Senate Finance Committee, who turned to his staff for help.

After Hatch sputtered that Democrats were invited to participate regardless of whether a hearing was held, McCaskill retorted by recounting the months-long process of public hearings and amendments that the Affordable Care Act went through. Then she launched into a fiery, indignant speech.

http://billmoyers.com/story/senate-republicans-hope-wont-notice-theyre-repeal-obamacare/

Richard Heckler 2 months ago

From Elizabeth Warren:

I learned some scary news last week: the Senate Republicans are going to try to repeal the Affordable Care Act by the end of the month.

And here’s the terrifying part: They seem to think they have the votes in the Senate to do it.

I’m not crying wolf here. I’m really worried. Health care for millions of Americans is on the line in the next few weeks.

The Republicans are counting on the fact that so many terrible things are happening right now -- and that everyone thinks Trumpcare is dead -- that they can slip this through before we have a chance to get organized

Richard Heckler 2 months ago

This bogus bunch pretending to be republicans are once again interfering with health care instead of providing the nations people with the health care choices the people want.

Just imagine how many millions of healthcare dollars are being funneled to lobbyists and elected officials plus the budget for misinformation from the insurance industry and pharmaceutical industry which BTW is being billed to those paying for medical insurance. Kickbacks is the proper word for this activity.

What fraudulent use of healthcare dollars!!!

Could this fraudulent spending be connected to increased cost of medical insurance? Of course.

When ObamaCare and Single Payer were being debated the industries were spending $1.4 million health care dollars a day to prevent ObamaCare and Single Payer according to the Washington Post.

INSTEAD this bunch is forcing on the people their personal agenda which is more money for the industry and more money for their campaign cookie jars. = FRAUD!

Let consumers make their choices! Kick Big Government Out of the way

Richard Heckler 2 months ago

The money for Single Payer is in Washington D.C as we speak. Yes it is.

The U.S. health insurance system is typically characterized as a largely private-sector system, so it may come as a surprise that more than 60% of the $2 trillion or more annual U.S. health care bill is paid through taxes.

This $2 trillion tax dollars or more is the source which would likely cover the cost of a single payer system. At least a sizeable portion.

Again repeal the mandate STAT. This is nothing but a free lunch for the medical insurance industry.

Provide 3 choices:

=== ObamaCare which retains the health insurance industry

=== Single Payer Medicare for ALL = excellent coverage for those who wish to enroll. https://www.healthcare-now.org/docs/spreport.pdf

=== Self financed health care for those able to do so.

Bob Smith 2 months ago

California is about to go $400 billion in the hole for their version of single payer. How deep a hole do you want Kansas to land in?

Kendall Simmons 2 months ago

Kansas is already IN a a financial hole...and not holding Brownback responsible for that is just plain dishonest.

Bob Summers 2 months ago

Money is of no matter to people that are born Liberal. They will use other people's money until it runs out and will blame them when it does.

Single payer means half the population will continue to take care of the other half.

There is no financial sustainability in America, the world, with these people that refuse to have skin in the game.

Andrea Zuercher 2 months ago

The way single-payer works in other countries, anyway, is that everyone pays into the fund based on their ability and income. Then everyone is eligible for the services guaranteed for all. It's how we pay for highways and prisons and police and other public facilities now. By the logic expressed above, we should be saying, because you paid more taxes than George, half of George's house should be allowed to burn down while yours is completely saved. Rich people in single-payer systems are free to buy more expensive private care at their chosen facilities and skip waiting lines. But poor people in single-payer systems don't have to die of preventable illnesses because of their poverty. If that's what being born liberal helps me understand, I'll take it.

Greg Cooper 2 months ago

And you, Bob, refute without factual backing. Again. And again....

Dorothy Hoyt-Reed 2 months ago

Why do you worship money so much, Bob? If a relative of yours got cancer, would you just say, "Sorry, my money is too precious to me." I certainly hope not. And this liberal has been working and paying taxes for about 50 years. I've had lots of skin in the game.

Glen Stovall 2 months ago

Yes---money given to the richest ----from the middle and poor---is the prime objective of republicans. It doesn't matter that voodoo-economics has never and will never work, it continues to be the prime objective of republicans. More and more people are starting to wake-up to this on-going scam.

Richard Heckler 2 months ago

It is time to DEMAND Medicare Single Payer Insurance 24/7.

Here are 10 great reasons to support Medicare Single Payer Insurance and Reduce Government Spending BIG TIME. The amount of tax dollars spent on health care as we speak will cover the cost of Medicare Single Payer Insurance for ALL.

  1. Everybody In, Nobody Out. Universal means access to health care for everyone, period. Plus it is estimated to create 2.6 million new jobs!

  2. Portability. If you are unemployed, or lose or change jobs, your health coverage stays with you.

  3. Uniform Benefits. No Cadillac plans for the wealthy and Pinto plans for everyone else, with high deductibles, limited services, caps on payments for care, and no protection in the event of a catastrophe. One level of comprehensive care for everyone, regardless of the size of your wallet.

  4. Prevention. By removing financial roadblocks, a universal health system encourages preventive care that lowers an individual's ultimate cost and pain and suffering when problems are neglected and societal cost in the over-utilization of emergency rooms or the spread of communicable diseases.

  5. Choice. Most private insurance restricts your choice of providers and hospitals. Under the U.S. National Health Insurance Act, patients have a choice, and the provider is assured a fair payment.

  6. No Interference with Care. Caregivers and patients regain their autonomy to decide what's best for a patient's health, not what's dictated by the billing department. No denial of coverage 6for pre-existing conditions or cancellation of policies for "unreported" minor health problems.

  7. Reducing Waste. One third of every private health insurance dollar goes for paperwork and profits, compared to about 3% under Medicare, the federal government’s universal system for senior citizen healthcare.

  8. Cost Savings. A guaranteed health care system can produce the cost savings needed to cover everyone, largely by using existing resources without the waste. Taiwan, shifting from a U.S. private health care model, adopted a similar system in 1995, boosting health coverage from 57% to 97% with little increase in overall health care spending.

  9. Common Sense Budgeting. The public system sets fair reimbursements applied equally to all providers, private and public, while assuring that appropriate health care is delivered, and uses its clout to negotiate volume discounts for prescription drugs and medical equipment.

  10. Public Oversight. The public sets the policies and administers the system, not high priced CEOs meeting in private and making decisions based on their company’s stock performance needs.

Richard Heckler 2 months ago

I want IMPROVED Medicare Single Payer Insurance and I want it paid for with MY tax dollars.

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

• durable medical equipment

• palliative care

• long term care

NO DEDUCTIBLES – NO COPAYS

http://www.healthcare-now.org/docs/spreport.pdf

WHY MUST CONSUMERS PAY OUT THOUSANDS ANNUALLY BEFORE THE INSURANCE KICKS IN?

Bob Smith 2 months ago

"WHY MUST CONSUMERS PAY OUT THOUSANDS ANNUALLY BEFORE THE INSURANCE KICKS IN?" Ask the Democrats that wrote the ACA.

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