Government's lacking trajectory of success
To be licensed as a teacher or a doctor, one must demonstrate a track record (through student teaching and residency) that one has the ability to succeed in the profession. If one desires a mortgage, there must be evidence that the applicant has the ability to make the monthly payments and eventually repay the debt with interest. While not an exact science, most teachers and doctors do good work and most mortgagees make their payments even in tough economic times such as these. So, with something as important and as expensive as health care, why shouldn't we expect the same trajectory of performance from our government? Before approving the health care bill, our government needs to demonstrate the ability to handle such a large responsibility. With current programs such as Medicare and the post office losing so much money, I don't think the government is efficient or able enough to implement a plan that is over 2,000 pages in length. Show me a trajectory of success in something, anything, and I'll consider supporting it.
I urge lawmakers not to vote for a bill that the government has demonstrated no capability of implementing well. Our freedom, health, and economic well-being depend on it.
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A public option can pay for itself
Opponents of the public option cite increased bureaucracy and increased taxes as their two primary objections to the plan. The first objection is true taken at face value but is false in terms of cost effectiveness. The second objection is categorically false when considering that "taxes" come in many forms. All doctors, hospitals, dentists and other health care providers routinely mark up their fees to cover losses they incur when providing services to those unable or unwilling to pay. In turn, insurance companies charge higher rates to those whom they insure as the cost of services at the health care provider level is inflated to offset "pro bono" services. Simply stated, those who have insurance pay not only for themselves but also for the uninsured.
The bureaucracy issue is a bit more complicated. With the formation of a government-run insurance agency, it is certainly true that the size of government will increase. Fortunately, government executives are paid on the government's pay scale and will not reap the double-digit millions in salary that some privately held insurance companies pay their top executives. Secondly, the government insurance company will not pay out billions in dividends since the government is not a business that requires traditional "Wall Street-type" investors.
If Congress can get past the petty partisan bickering and begin using its collective intellect to design a public option that will pay for itself, those who currently have insurance will find that rates will begin to stabilize. With inflation the only caveat, competition should drive prices accordingly. More importantly, those who are currently uninsured will have an opportunity (preferably requirement) to purchase insurance.
JOHN M. DRUMMOND
Do health reform the right way
We need health care reform but it must include tort reform. Neither the House nor Senate include this in their reform plans. Their excuse is that could not solve all the problems, even though the Senate bill alone is more than 2,000 pages long.
This is not health care reform; It is about the government getting an ever-increasing hold on our lives. Has anyone ever seen an efficient government agency, from local governments, (Swansea, for instance) all the way up to the federal government?
The waste and fraud will be overwhelming. They are giving Louisiana an extra $100 million for their vote. Our money is used to sway that one senator, and the list just goes on and on. Our federal debt is out of hand, it causes our dollar to decline, which drives up the price of oil and gasoline for all of us.
There can be safety nets for people who have health problems or no health insurance without a totally government-run public option. This could be done with tax credits.
California and New York are bankrupt. Why is the federal government going down the same path?
The tender trap of good intentions
When considering the current issue popularly known as "health care reform" legislation, people would do well to pause and give due consideration to the following historical perspective.
"Good intentions will always be pleaded for every assumption of authority. It is hardly too strong to say that the Constitution was made to guard the people against the dangers of good intentions. There are men in all ages who mean to govern well, but mean to govern. They promise to be good masters, but they mean to be masters." - Daniel Webster (1782-1817)
Consider those without health care
I would vehemently urge the majority of Americans with health insurance to truly think about the 47 million Americans that do not have the much-needed safety net of health insurance.
As an American who has enjoyed that safety net of health insurance for most of my 51 years, I cannot, for the very life and breath of me, understand how people can continue to refuse this safety net to all Americans.
I constantly hear the conservative Democrats and Republicans bring up the matter of cost. I ask you: What about the hundreds of billions of taxpayer dollars that went to ultra-rich Wall Streeters, bankers, and the automobile companies?
Please, especially during this holiday season, remember the 47 million Americans without health insurance and realize, the time for true health care reform is now.
TIMOTHY MONROE BLEDSOE