LETTERS TO THE EDITOR
Health care is a right for all
I believe that health care is a right, which means Medicare for all. Cost, especially for doctors, drugs and hospital care, is the number one problem.
Primary physicians can manage most non-emergency conditions and specialists can see the rest. Large hospitals are more efficient and can offer more services at a lower cost. Smaller hospitals could disappear. Emergencies require transferring patients to larger hospitals. Drug prices can be reduced by competitive bidding. Prior authorization to see specialists and to approve expensive drugs will become more common. Insurance prices must be actuarially sound, this is why individual mandates are necessary. You may be able to keep your own doctor and the insurance you already have.
Paying for universal health care most likely will require an increase in taxes. Taxpayers will object to many of the solutions. Congress has to work together and pass the laws that will accomplish these solutions.
Howard Vesser, Lady Lake
Trump serves Trump
The Russians attacked our nation through our computer systems and we as a country have done absolutely nothing about it. Trump certainly loves Russia in a very un-American and disturbing way. If Hillary had this extreme love for Russia, she would have been impeached by now. Hopefully Congress will vote to put sanctions on Russia for interfering with our elections.
What’s also disturbing is that the very people who helped elect President Trump will now get hurt by his policies because of course Trump’s rich one percent friends and companies come first, before the poor and middle class. For example, Trumpcare will give the rich one percent a big payday and the poor and middle class will have little to no health insurance. The rural hospitals that depend on Medicaid payments from the Federal Government will be closing due to Trumpcare’s $850 billion cuts to Medicaid.
When you elect a rich guy for president he only looks out for himself and his one percent rich friends and companies. Hopefully people will wake up and realize that Trumpcare is ruthless and selfish.
Linda Green, Leesburg
GOP has priorities mixed up
Why are wealthy Republicans all tied up in knots about the Obamacare health plan? Do rich people never get sick? Do those rich people rarely need health care?
According to a research group, cheatsheet.com, there are three main reasons the GOP objects to Obamacare. The GOP insists on financial balance which means that spending money on the poor will increase the deficit. Also, the GOP thinks tax cuts will help everyone. That is false. Then the GOP insists that those with incomes above $300 thousand deserve large tax cuts while the worker with an income of $30 thousand will get little or no tax relief (Kaiser Family Foundation, Sept. 2014).
Yes, those wealthy people complain about the health care costs, but they do not mind paying for military expenses. Do the rich people consider which American citizens put their lives on the line as they serve up front in the military? The GOP loves the military, but do not ask them to put on the brogans and the steel helmets to slog into the darkness and the mud to fight for our country. GOP wave flags on the sidewalk.
The Democrats want Obamacare for all Americans because we do not know when a disease or sickness will invade American society. And when threats come from enemies, we need healthy people to take up the good fight. A strong Obamacare program keeps all of us in good health.
There are charts on cheatsheet.com that prove Obamacare is a success.
Robert Wesolowski, The Villages
FROM THE LEFT
Government-funded health care a solution for everyone
The debate on health care has polarized the nation along party lines on how to create a viable health care system. Every nation in the world has had this debate and each one has decided that everyone should have health care coverage. All have concluded that there is no free market solution that would provide coverage for everyone. Even Singapore, which has the world’s most free market economy, has universal health care for all under a government-run program.
49 percent of people in the U.S. have coverage provided by their employer and we are the only nation that places this heavy burden on employers. It is a relic from WWII when we had wage freezes and companies started providing health care coverage to retain and hire new employees. In 1943 an IRS Tax Court ruled that these benefits were non-taxable. In 1954 it was codified by the Internal Revenue Service Tax Code. The exemption results in a loss of some $250 billion in tax revenue every year. The government is in effect subsidizing the health insurance provided by employers.
The employer-based system helps divide us into haves and have not’s. Small businesses and self-employed workers cannot negotiate with insurance companies for favorable rates. Nor can they afford to provide health insurance to their employees, especially when starting a small business, which stifles entrepreneurship.
About 5 percent of people have individual coverage in the U.S. Medicare provides health coverage for 12 percent of the people, which they have earned by paying FICA See JACOBSON, B2
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taxes when they were employed. Medicaid passed in 1965 provides coverage for the poor and disabled. Over 50 million people are enrolled.
We have the only for-profit health care system in the world and spent some $9,000 per person, twice as much as anyone else for poorer outcomes. We rank near the bottom in infant mortality rates, life expectancy and general population health among industrialized nations and utilize more services, including pharmaceuticals and medical technology like diagnostic imaging.
There are many reasons, the foremost being our physicians and hospitals charge more for their services than in any other nation. We can ask why, the simple answer is because they can. In other nations government regulations keep prices low.
In Canada every medical procedure is far less expensive than in the U.S. — usually more than 100 percent.
In the U.S. individual insurance companies negotiate with medical device manufactures for prices on artificial joints, pace makers, etc., unlike other countries where the government does the negotiating.
Governments represent the interests of the consumers of these products rather than a company.
We pay the highest prices for drugs, which are 17 percent of health care spending, and neither the ACA or any of the Republicans’ plans address this issue, or the exorbitant pay for the CEO’s of our insurance and drug companies.
The Republican plans for health care fail to fulfill the campaign promise of health care for everyone, with better coverage and lower premiums.
It is a return to the pre-Obamacare days when the system was not working. Obamacare was created because the system was not working and we were looking for something better.
Obamacare tries to make the system better by making payments to providers tied to the quality of outcomes.
Under the ACA hospitals have to meet minimum quality standards to be eligible for full reimbursement.
Poor outcomes like preventable readmissions and high rates of hospital-acquired infections will reduce payments to hospitals.
The ACA attempts to reign in costs while it rewards providers who provide efficient, safe care to Americans.
This is a giant step in the right direction.
There is only one real solution and that is health care coverage for everyone from birth to grave with a single-payer system that is funded through the government.
This would provide the freedom from worry about health care for everyone.