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Sunday, August 09, 2009

We almost overlooked this masterpiece by none other than Larry Zini. It appeared in Sundays Standard Examiner, but we will post the letter below in its entirety.

In reading Mr. Stewart's rant on health care, one has to wonder where he has been living for the last 50 years. While some of the misconceptions surrounding the current health care proposal he noted are correct, the salient problem he ignored is the fact that our Federal Government is not good at doing anything except spending taxpayer's money without effective oversight or controls.

If Americans would examine ANY government administered effort, they would be appalled at the millions of dollars lost every year to fraud, waste, and lack of oversight. Even military spending is rife with earmarks and congressional spending waste. That is why your government will spend $50 for a hammer when they could go to Home Depot and get it for about $19.

It was suggested that Republicans are the only ones questioning the cost of this health care program from the Obama administration. Many concerned Americans from every part of the political landscape are questioning the trillion plus dollars this program will cost. It should be apparent to all that with the bullet proof Democratic majority in both houses of Congress, it is not the Republicans that are causing the pause and reflection, it is the president's own party members.

We should ask why we have had noTort reform to lower the cost of medical insurance for those who work in the healthcare industry. That alone would significantly slash the cost of medical care for everyone in this country.

Mr. Stewart also appears to assume that the money grabbers in the health and insurance industries will suddenly disappear with any new government health care system. The lobbyists from these industries are now spending millions of dollars a day to influence our representatives in Congress on the current pending health care legislation.

The members of the US Congress will be exempt from any new health care program, just as they are exempt from the Social Security program. Congress doesn't mind dictating what is good for you in a mandated government program as long as they don't have to participate!

Larry Zini


Kevin said...

I like to read your news stories about the Ogden Valley, but can you please NOT get into national political issues that in the end have nothing to do with our valley other than the fact that it was someone from Huntsville writing the comment?

Dr. Kildare said...

Kevin, the letter was written to the editor of the Standard Examiner which serves all of Northern Utah and was posted on the Ogden Valley Forum by someone who feels differently than you do about what is important to many of us.

You may not realize it, but Health Care changes will impact each and every citizen if the proposals now suggested by Congress go through. Health Care accounts for one sixth of our entire economy and we better make sure they get it right.

K said...

I really wish this forum wouldn't turn into yet another place for political debate but I guess it's too late for that anyway so here goes:

I can only hope that the changes will impact everyone! The system is as broken as it could be right now and I'm glad that someone finally has the courage to do something about it instead of ignoring the problem because the rich people have nothing to complain about or because they'd rather play war than care about REAL problems. The current system is as unfair as the feudal system in the middle ages.

In terms of mr. Zini's article, it doesn't make all that much sense to me anyway. He talks about the government wasting money because of a lack of oversight in the first 2 paragraphs and then suddenly changes topic without really offering a solution. Does he mean that health care should be governed by state officials or even smaller communities or does he mean that we should just not do anything about the system anyway, or maybe we should let the corporate insurance companies/doctors/lawyers continue to make billions of dollars on the back of our misfortune?

It's also interesting how everyone who opposes the health care reform thinks there will be a "mandated government program" for everyone where they will be forced into getting the government insurance. That's absolutely false. The plan would presumably 'force' uninsured people into getting some kind of insurance - but I would really like to hear from any mentally sane person who would not want to be insured!

Forgive my ignorance if I missed the meaning of the article. It's easy to criticize change but when it comes to offering a viable alternative I haven't really heard anything from anyone - other than keeping the current system with some minor changes and ignoring the hundreds of thousands of testimonials from which it's apparent we are killing our people and our economy.

Thomas Paine said...

K, you missed one of the big ones. Tort reform. If we were able to limit to reasonable amounts both the cost of lawsuits and the lunatic lawsuit awards, the cost of healthcare would drop by some estimates one third in heath care industry.

For your information, of the 45 million that are uninsured, 13 million are illegal immigrants, 22 million CHOOSE not to pay for insurance and the remainder are poor who say they cannot pay. Are you going to force the 22 million to pay for health insurance? Good luck. You and Obama may as well order them to drink milk since it is good for them. Are you also going to provide the illegals with free insurance with you tax dollars?

The object of this plan is to get to a single payor system that Obama talked about during his run for president. That means that if the government offers a low cost government insurance option, the rest of us should be entitled to use it since we are paying for it through our taxes. What do you think will happen to private insurance companies that cannot match the low government insurance rates? We will have 300 million Americans on the government option in a few years.

The point I read into the letter is that the Government has never demonstrated the ability to run anything well. Amtrak, the postal service, medicare, Social Security, immigration, even Cash for clunkers, because there is no accountability in the Federal System. By the time some oversight committee in Washington investigates a problem in a government funded program, the waste and fraud is in the billions of dollars.

As flawed as it is, the current system is accepted by most Americans as good in the polls, it needs some reform and streamlining, but the US Government is not the one to do it.

Talk to some of the Obama supporters about Tort reform and they all run for cover. Most of our legislators (both republicans and democrats are trial lawyers) they don't ever want any changes in the endless parade of medical lawsuits in the courts. You pay for much of that with high medical costs.

Angela said...

I have to say I agree with Kevin on several points here. First this is no place to have political discussions and second, since it has been shoved in my face, we need health care reform NOW.

Mr. Paine, I agree with the Tort reform, but other than that I believe that you are greatly misinformed. You obviously don't understand the good that comes with universal health care and what the plan actually entails. Universal health care is implemented in all but one of the developed, wealthy, industrialized countries, obviously, the United States. It is also provided in many developing countries and is the trend worldwide. The current system is NOT accepted by most Americans, one poll I read found that 90% of Americans believe the American health care system needs fundamental changes or needs to be completely rebuilt. 75% of Americans believe the federal government should guarantee universal health care for all citizens. (OECD) Where do you get your polls, fox news? Or better yet, the insurance companies? Or, by chance, do you have stock in one of these insurance companies? There's a good one, companies who should be concerned about our health but whose actual concern is paying out dividends. How can having the government as a competitor worry you but you are fine with having insurance companies being for-profit, publicly traded where the sick are not their concern?

I am an American businesswoman and I am terrified with our current situation. How can we expect to compete globally when the cost of health care is forced onto the backs of our already struggling companies? Of course they are going to outsource, they have to survive somehow.

Our system now is by no means sustainable. Half of all bankruptcies IN THE US are caused by medical bills and 3/4s of those filings are by people with (yes WITH) health insurance. How sad, could you imagine facing cancer and losing your house while being on insurance? I don't understand how anyone can consider that to be acceptable.

I do not consider myself a democrat nor a republican, and I do not know any Obama supporter who runs for cover when we discuss the Tort reform. I am so sick of democrats vs. republicans its time to return to being Americans and look into what is good for America.

Squirt said...

Angela, you are very misinformed on these issues. Tort reform will never happen with either party in power. Most of them are trial lawyers!

It appears that you have a pollyanna view of our Government and its ability to do anything. You never addressed the fact that nothing the Federal Government does operates without billions in waste, corruption, and very little oversight.

You also never mentioned who is going to pay for all of this. If a government program is sold to the public for $1.3 trillion, you can be sure that it will cost at least 5 times that when implemented. Of couse that means more taxes on everyone, but you don't care.

What you will see due to this discourse all over the country is a compromise where the government will regulate the medical insurance industry and that may along with some kind of Tort reform, lower medical costs.

You can always hope.

Anonymous said...

Wow I knew 8 years of Bush/republican rule were pretty dramatic but I didn't know he made people THAT disillusioned in the federal government!

dare to hope people, dare to hope.

John Adams said...

Well, it is clear that someone needs a history lesson. the Social Security fund is just about bankrupt after the democratic congress started dipping into the fund while they controlled congress for about 40 years.

They used that money to fund all these government programs that have nothing to do with Social Security so they didn't have to go to the American people for tax increases which would not have been popular. Now the Social Security system is on it's way to being insolvent. The solution will be to push out the date you can collect your benefits (already happening) or raise the Social Security taxes more and more.

Both political parties are to blame for this top heavy
Federal Government, that treats the taxpayers as a bottomless money pit.

Angela said...

How cheap, another attack on the democratic party, it's not like one party is so much better than the other. And yes, I too am afraid that the Tort Reform will not pass because the lawyers have too much power, just like the insurance companies. I figured this was a good first step in the people having some power.

How sad that you confuse patriotism with being misinformed. Is it that you believe that this country is so poorly ran and the insurance companies are the heroes, or the corporations will be the ones to take care of us? The United States of Walmart, they will employ us, not give us health insurance but make our Pepsi and Cheetos real cheap. I'm sorry you feel that way.

I am more sorry for the men and women who have given their lives to defend our country. I have numerous family members and friends who serve (or have served) to fight for you and this is the thanks they get? Another thing, they all have awesome health care from the US government (a little better before Bush slashed a lot of the funds, but hey, why should a millionaire pay the same taxes as the middle class). Shame on you for disgracing their service.

Raise our taxes? I do not get health insurance through my work and it is raised by 30-50% every year, no exaggeration. I would love to have a REAL competitor in there with them. I really don't think the UPS or FED-EX are so threatened by the USPS but it keeps them a little more in check. And, by the way, my father is a Vietnam vet and my sister is a postal worker and I take your offense to them very personally. I'm sure Mexico will welcome you if you hate this country so much, they don't have a Universal Health care for you to worry about. If we did happen to see an increase in taxes I don't think it could nearly compare with the increase in the cost of insurance. The use of the names of our Forefathers is another insult, please stop attacking the country I love. It may not be perfect, but I am darn proud to be an American. I cried when I saw the scene in Los Angeles, all those people waiting for the volunteer doctors. I think America can be better, and like my father, I believe in this country and I am willing to fight for it.

Caesare said...

Angela, I read back on the comments and you were the one that raised the partisan politics first. It appears you like to dish it out but can't take it.

I think all someone said was that you were misinformed, they did not call you stupid, dumb or a radical left winger.

Your phony flag waving is not impressive either, many of us have served our country and our fathers have served our country as well.

Watch closely as Obama tries to get his $1.3 trillion program through congress. You will really see support from many in his own party evaporate before your very eyes. I suspect he will get something that is a lot less than what he promised, and ........... It may not contain a public option.

Angela said...

I have a hard time finding where I raised the 'partisan politics.' I think both parties are to blame for a lot of the problems we are having today, not just one of them. I am sorry if I came across otherwise. I do not identify with either party and I am sure many of us feel the same in this two party system.

I understand your need to insult me, as I insulted you first, which is the whole reason I was upset to see this article posted to begin with. But I assure you my love for this country is real as is my desire to make it a better place. I think that includes questioning the government (which is what you are doing) but I feel that saying they can't run anything right (the letter) is a gross exaggeration, and maybe I don't completely understand, but is an insult to our soldiers. I can't think of anything that is 100% perfect, especially when we have money hungry politicians and the lobbyists wanting to hand out the money.

And you are probably right that this program will not pass congress and it just rips my heart out. When I saw the clips from the volunteer doctors in L.A. I cried. It was like a scene from a 3rd world country.

This plan may not be the best plan, but it is a start. I would love to hear some other ideas, please, everyone, lets see what some alternatives are because the way it is now doesn't work.

Van Diesel said...

What scares me is the public option. If the government offers insurance at a lower price, why would anyone pay more for a private health insurer? That means we will have 330 million Americans on the Government plan very quickly. Can the US government provide for that? Or, is it possible they will try to tell people that have private insurance at the higher rate will not be able to use the public option even though their taxes are paying for it. Worse, will the government start to dictate who your doctor is or which hospital you can use under the public option. That is socialized medicine no matter how you spin it.

I notice that that question was never asked of Obama in Montana.

Angela (my other daughters are getting jealous that I keep using her name :)) said...

My insurance company now dictates which doctor/hospital I can use. And not everyone uses USPS, far from it... Maybe insurance companies would have to reorganize a little, instead of paying out dividends etc, focus on treating the sick. Is that so terrible?

You know something needs to change when Colombia's health care system ranks higher than ours :) This plan may not be the best plan, but it is a start. I would love to hear some other ideas, please, everyone, lets see what some alternatives are because the way it is now doesn't work.