Individual actions can still make a difference in the health care debate.
This thought is the focus of my Letter to the Editor (click on the link) appearing in both the print and online editions in the current Saturday, September 26, 2009 local bi-weekly newspaper, The Claremont Courier.
There is another significant article in The Courier,in an opinion piece “My Side of the line” “Can a blog help sell newspapers?” by Peter Weinberger, Editor and Publisher for which I’ve provided a link above. His article could be the subject for a whole other blog post here, but for now I just want to say this.
I’m very proud of our local newspaper. Our city is fortunate that Mr. Weinberger left an east coast news position in recent years to assume the responsibility for our newspaper when his parent owners retired. I like his progressive attitude and foresight in embracing the Internet and paper print editions. As you’ll note in his article he relates a story that demonstrates how a blogger benefited magazine subscriptions for The Atlantic. All bloggers and newspaper aficionados want to read what he says and think about how we can be mutually supportive for everyone’s benefit including non-bloggers and those who don't use the Internet.
My Letter to the Editor expresses concern about the current health care debates in Congress. I reference Ronni Bennett’s recent post “The Baucus Health Care Reform Bill” urging readers to access that post and blog for future up to date information on the progressive evolution of any health care reform bill(s.) Importantly, readers are urged to actively pursue their Congresspersons to express their views so all may receive health care and strongly urge them to meaningful action.
I conclude my letter by directing comments specifically to my Republican Representative, David Dreier. He has failed to recognize or at least acknowledge that a large number of constituents he represents in our community want a health care plan for all our citizens. There are many other views he has about a health care plan that are not representative of what I and many citizens regard as necessary components of any plan adopted.
Following are some questions which I believe he and all who are truly weighing health care issues in their minds might want to think about. I’ve provided my responses.
What do we believe in with regard to our fellow persons?
Is basic health care a right or a privilege?
HEALTH CARE SHOULD BE A RIGHT
Should health care be available to all or just some individuals?
HEALTH CARE SHOULD BE AVAILABLE TO ALL CITIZENS.
Is health care for profit more cost effective than non-profit health care?
HEALTH CARE FOR PROFIT IS TYPICALLY LESS COST EFFECTIVE THAN NON-PROFIT HEALTH CARE.
How does the cost of our health care compare to that of many other nations?
PRETTY LOW, SINCE WE RANK 2nd IN DOLLARS SPENT ON HEALTH CARE AS A PERCENTAGE OF GPD WHICH IS EXCESSIVELY MORE THAN OTHER COUNTRIES PROVIDING A HIGHER LEVEL OF QUALITY CARE FOR ALL OF THEIR CITIZENS. Click here for these World Health Organization rankings.
How does the quality of our health care compare to that of many other nations?
IF PREVENTABLE DEATHS ARE ANY INDICATION WE RANK PRETTY POORLY – 14th AMONG SELECTED COUNTRIES WITH FRANCE lst, JAPAN AND AUSTRALIA TIED FOR 2nd, SPAIN AND ITALY TIED FOR 3rd, CANADA 4th.
Click here for these World Health Organization rankings.
Why can’t we have a single payer system and cut out so many middle people siphoning off the health care dollar between the patient and the caregiver?
BECAUSE SO MANY LIES AND SCARE TACTICS HAVE BEEN USED BY OPPONENTS ON BEHALF OF INSURANCE AND PHARMACEUTICAL COMPANIES TOO MANY PEOPLE BELIEVE THEM AND FAIL TO LEARN THE FACTS.
Why should we settle for less than the single payer system we know to be best?
WE SHOULDN’T. EVERYONE NEEDS TO STRONGLY MAKE THEIR VIEWS KNOWN TO THEIR CONGRESSPERSONS – REPEATEDLY.
Do we need the hodge podge of insurance companies providing our health care when their primary goal is to make money?
NO, COST SAVINGS ARE OFTEN ACHIEVED BY INSURANCE COMPANIES AT PATIENT SERVICES EXPENSE, NOT CUTS IN ADMINISTRATIVE PERKS, SALARIES, LOBBYIST FEES AND ACTIVITIES.
Do our current health insurance companies engage in denials of service?
YES, BUT WHY AREN’T MANY INSURANCE COMPANY DENIALS DESCRIBED APPROPRIATELY AS THEY ARE – RATIONING ….. FOR THE COMPANY PROFIT!
Does the government pay some insurance plans more Medicare dollars than they pay others for the same regular Medicare coverage?
YES, WITH THE ADVANTAGE PROGRAM WHICH MAKES EXCESSIVE OVER-PAYMENTS TO THESE INSURANCE COMPANIES.
Click here for more about this health reform.
Is canceling that program a cost-cutting measure that should be enacted immediately? Y E S !!!
Why do health care change opponents seem to ignore the fact a vast majority of Medicare recipients and Veterans express satisfaction with their insurance coverage if these government run medical care programs are as inefficient as some politicians misrepresent?
AGAIN, BECAUSE THE OPPONENTS CHOOSE TO PREVARICATE AND IGNORE THE FACTS.
Are there abuses in these programs? YES. CONSTANT ONGOING PURSUIT OF THOSE WHO ABUSE THE SYSTEM IS NECESSARY AND SHOULD OCCUR IN EVERY PRIVATE BUSINESS, GOVERNMENT OPERATION AND ALL OTHER ORGANIZATIONS WITH A FINANCIAL COMPONENT.
Why can’t Medicare negotiate uniform drug prices with the pharmaceutical companies for all of the needed medicines instead of the currently excessively expensive system?
A STRONG POSSIBILITY EXISTS THAT:
…DRUG COMPANY MONIES DONATED TO OUR CONGRESS PERSONS POLITICAL CAMPAIGNS
…JOBS PROVIDED BY SOME OF THESE SAME COMPANIES TO EMPLOYEES AFTER THEY LEAVE GOVERNMENT EMPLOYMENT
… MAY TEND TO INFLUENCE THOSE WHO HAVE TAKEN AN OATH TO ACT IN THE BEST INTEREST OF THE CONSTITUENTS THEY REPRESENT TO DO OTHERWISE.
…WE WOULD BE WISE TO RESEARCH THE DONATION LISTS OF OUR CONGRESSPERSONS FOR JUST SUCH INFORMATION.
Health care issues continue to be very pertinent as our Congress attempts to determine what options will be included in the final plan recommendation to the President. Many possibilities still are in flux.
Bi-partisanship between the major two political parties appears to be a fantasy. Some Representatives and Senators are entrenched with ideological positions that don’t reflect our world today. Others may have sincere motivations to justify their views.
Then there are those who have made it very clear their primary goal is to oppose meaningful change simply to thwart any possible progress that might reflect positively on their political opponents. This latter group are the ones whose names we should all note and remember come next election time. They have no value in our political system. In fact, they are a singularly destructive force detrimental to the good of the American people.
Progress and change are often not easy and can take many long years to achieve on some issues. Those of us who have lived through most of the twentieth century know that truth first hand. Those who are familiar with history through the ages know this truth all too well. We know within ourselves it is moral, ethical, and just that all human beings have health care. Now it is up to each of us to put forth whatever effort we can to make health care for all in this great nation of ours become a reality in 2009.