Post a New Topic
Letter: Health care reform foe's rhetoric could backfire
Original post made
on Sep 16, 2009
Read the full story here Web Link
posted Wednesday, September 16, 2009, 12:00 AM
Posted by Concerned Voter
a resident of Menlo Park: Stanford Hills
on Sep 22, 2009 at 6:10 pm
Wow Steve, you really need to read more carefully! Some of your responses simply don't make sense. So, I will try again to make my points:
1) My comment re Canada served a multitude of purposes and it is a good example. It was in response to your faulty opinion that Canada "provides demonstrably better care to ALL of their citizens" - a faulty statement for which you had no support. It is well known that Canada's medical system has huge problems financially and in serving it's citizens. Have you ever spoken to anyone who is from Canada and is older than 30? I say older than 30 not as a slur against the young, but because it is generally after 30 that folks start really using their medical community. Canada is a terrible role model for the US. Mediocrity for everyone is not my idea of a solution,
As for my using a Canada exampe to specifically address your comment that there are "longer waits in the US" issue - it is a darn good example regardless of your dislike of it! As for the Business Week article - what does that have to do with Canada? OR defense of socialized medicine? Which was the point I was making - socialized medicine does not work. Most industrialized countries with good care have private care - Germany and Japan. So, let me make myself clearer. The US does not have longer waits compared to socialized medicine countries. The examples often used in several magazine articles are other countries with private health insurance or much, much smaller industrialized countries.
So, my Canada example was good. Canada has a broken system. If copying the Canadians is our idea of fixing the problems in the US, Lord help us.
2) As for your analysis of why costs are higher here, you actually contradict yourself. How in the world can the insurance companies be so stingy and selfish, yet drive up costs??
There are indeed many reasons for the high costs of medical treatment in the US. Some good reasons, some bad. We have cutting edge medical treatments here. Some of those treatments have saved loved ones of mine, so sorry if I don't support the idea of cutting costs as being the most important thing no matter what. The UK DOES keep costs down by simply not providing services. That was my point and it is true, as you also agree.
But some of the high costs of medical treatment in the US do need to be contained and can be. For example, we have allowed hospitals to keep merging into large entities. I know parts of the US where there now is only one major hospital after mergers. We need to have rules that bar such mergers. Monopolies increase the costs of medical care.
Tort reform is also needed. If people were limited to reasonable amounts and attorneys were limited to reasonable %s, then malpractice insurance wouldn't be sky high. Medical malpractice costs are passed down to the patients like you and me. But trial attorneys are huge contributors to the Democratic party, so tort reform is generally very slow in coming, even at the state level.
And let's increase govt spending for drug research. The reason drugs are so expensive is because the patents are privately owned by the drug companies. We can't end their research (thank goodness - the more people researching, the better). But we could increase govt spending on drug research so that the patents that are created could be sold at lower rates.
And speaking of the drug companies, perhaps we could have legislation about the profit levels allowed for the drugs that are sold. AND let's stop letting our US drug companies be bought by foreign companies. Lots of folks are screaming about greedy shareholders. Well, dear boy, many of these "greedy" people live in socialist European countries.... This needs to stop.
Also, I would like to point out that I think people are confusing high costs of medical care with high costs of medical insurance. These are 2 different things and require 2 different sets of solutions. My examples above would help bring down health care costs. Now here are some ideas on how to get the health insurance costs down -
Open up state borders. I don't know if you know this, but right now health insurance companies can not sell across state lines. Why??? If we get rid of these artificial limits, the prices will come down. Economics 101 says competition leads to lowere prices. And let's make sure that these companies then are not allowed to merger into one happy giant monopoly.
Regulate the profit margins for the health insurance companies. And while we are at it, let's definitely stop the pre-existing nonsense that is going on. That is a disgrace and needs to be regulated.
3) And why are you ranting at me about the 28Million??? I am just saying that the Obama administration and Congress is trying to scare us with inflated numbers. If the real numbers were being used, then we could have more reasonable discussions and start working on solutions other than the ones they are proposing. But right now, there is a ton of fear mongering going on. Pelosi would like to think the fear mongering is by the anti-health care folks, but it is by both sides! Fear mongering is accomplishing nothing and may actually end up causing no legislation to be passed. 77% of Americans want health care reform. Over 50% do not want socialized medicine however. So, my point is that Congress and Pres Obama needs to stop trying to scare us and instead start coming up with real solutions to the current health care crisis.
4) And now on to my favorite topic of the day - Medicare. I wasn't clear - I agree to that. But now I will be - Nope, Medicare is not without sin. Most folks are happy enough (as you said), but many are not. But it does putter along. And here is where I have my BIG worry and and if it scares people, good! Pres Obama had repeatedly said that he wants to cut $622BILLION in "waste" from Medicare in order to cover the bulk of the health care reform costs. What the Pres forgets to mention is that $62BILLION a year is almost 1/3 of all Medicare costs. This is robbing the elderly. If you view that as scaring people, great! We need to get people to realize that it is completely unacceptable to steal from Medicare to pay for health care reform. We need to find some other source of the money. I am willing to pay more in taxes, but I am not willing to watch our elderly being screwed after they have honorably paid into the system that they now so deperately need. We found money for the Auto companies, we found money for the banks, we found money for the Stimulous plan, we found money for the cash for clunkers, etc, etc without raiding the defenseless. We need to tell our COngressional representatives that we want health care reform, BUT that we need to find some other source of funds. Many people don't realize that $62BILLION is almost 1/3 of medicare. When I mention that to friends and colleagues they are shocked. Good!
By the way, Anonymous, Medicare is NOT an entitlement. Nor is Socal Security. People pay into those systems ALL their working lives so that they can be covered when they are elderly. Do you view private insurance as an "entitlement" after you have paid your premiums?? Do you view your 401K an "entitlement" when you get your payouts?? The reason that the Medicare and Social Security is going bankrupt is not because they are the "mother of entitlements", but rather because Congress (Republicans and Democrats) have been "borrowing" from the fund for years and not repaying the amounts. I am not elderly and won't be for decades. But I am sincerely offended when our proud elderly are viewed as people getting handouts when all they want is the payouts from the sysytem that they honorably paid into. If you want to make sure that we are not "bankrupting" our children, send an email to Pres Obama and Congress and tell them to stop running up the deficit. I think we all need to do that!
5) As for scaring people in the illegal immigrants - that was in response to your post. I already have accepted the fact that they will be covered. I just don't like the lack of honesty that is going on. If you don't want people to be scared by the illegal immigrant issue, then don't tell people that they won't be covered. I am not the only person who is saying oh yes they will be....
As for the use of the term "socialism", that is the term that is used to descibe Canada and the UK - socialized medicine...which comes from the term socialism. If folks don't want the term "socialism" used , then I would suggest that they stop swooning over the malfunctioning socialized medical systems in other countries.
In sum, I (like 77% of the country) desperately want health care reform. I just don't want the elderly robbed or socialized medicine to be brought to this great country. What we need is major regulations to be implemented (some of which I mentioned above, as also did Anonymous) and some sort of subsidizing for the uninsured and we will see major improvements.