Comments about ‘Letter: Let us improve health care by innovation, education and self-reliance’

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Published: Monday, July 16 2012 12:00 a.m. MDT

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marxist
Salt Lake City, UT

Consider that the big banks make big profits by borrowing from the Federal Reserve at near zero rates, then lend to the public at considerably higher rates, and buy Federal Debt at rates of 6 and 7% paidt to they, the banks. Given this massive giveaway to banking I thinkt there is plenty of wealth in big capital to fix healthhcare.

Blue
Salt Lake City, UT

"Let us direct our attention to improving our health care system by innovation, education and self-reliance."

That's just empty right wing blather.

35 million Americans have no health insurance. Would we be more "self-reliant" if that number rose to 50 million? If I took away your health insurance would you celebrate your newly-increased "self-reliance?"

How "innovative" can you be when your insurance company cancels your policy upon learning that you have a serious illness?

When asked about how they feel about the individual elements of the Affordable Care Act, i.e. keeping your kids on your insurance until they're 26, ending lifetime coverage ceilings, ending denial of insurance for pre-existing conditions, etc., Americans overwhelmingly express support. Only when the label "Obamacare" is applied do they say they don't like it.

Mr. Westover, instead of fatuous calls for "self-reliance," how about if you and your fellow conservatives start offering a practical, comprehensive, workable solution to the health insurance disaster to which you're so eager to return?

Mountanman
Hayden, ID

We will eventually discover that what some have called "compassion for the poor" was really nothing more than perpetuating irresponsibility.

Mike Richards
South Jordan, Utah

Unless the government seizes the assets of banks and of the "rich guy", every dollar that the government spends comes from your wallet and my wallet. Obamacare is the biggest TAX ever levied against the American people. It is a TAX, pure and simple. It is NOT free.

An honest man would tell us the costs associated with his program, but Obama is flying around the country pretending that he is the President of a nation of fools.

Every health care service costs money. If it comes through the government, it costs even more because the government workers must be paid on top of the health care providers.

Obamacare is just another money grab. This time it's for 18% of the GDP. The 15% that they take from our wages for Social Security and Medicare pales in comparison.

There are problems with health care, but the Constitution does not authorize the federal government to handle those problems. Health care is an issue for the STATES to handle.

Call the STATE Insurance Commissioner and complain if you want changes in insurance policies.

John Charity Spring
Back Home in Davis County, UT

Every person who claims that healthcare is a right should be condemned. No one has a right to any medical service unless he is willing to earn the money to pay for it himself.

America is suffering through an epidemic of crime, addiction, and immorality. Every one of these social ills has its roots in laziness and idleness. The lazy and idle population has been created directly from government entitlement programs. Adding healthcare to the entitlement list will magnify the problem tenfold.

As a nation, we can no longer pretend that the government can provide for every want and need of every citizen. We must return to the Founding principle that a man must work for his bread, and if he will not work, he will not eat.

The Real Maverick
Orem, UT

I don't think Obamacare prevents innovation, doesn't touch education, and certainly helps people to become more responsible (or else they'll pay a fine!).

We're already paying for these folks via premiums, ER costs, and bankruptcies. Might as well create a mandate for them to get insurance and prevent greedy insurance companies from denying/dropping folks because of pre-conditions.

I support Obamacare because it is a step in the right direction. I hope that one day we'll just get rid of the senseless middle-man and go into a single-payer system like most of the advanced industrialized world.

I also support Obamacare because it's at least an attempt at addressing the issue. Repubs haven't made any suggestions or plans. They merely say "No!"

Until repubs come up with a realistic plan (rather than right wing mantra) I'll support Obamacare. And sorry folks, tort reform and passing everything over to the states isn't a real plan.

Henderson
Orem, UT

It was printed in this paper just yesterday that BILLIONS have now been squandered in Iraq and cannot be accounted for.

It's interesting to me that we have billions to hand out to Egypt, Iraq, Afghanistan, etc without any accountability, we have billions to support our 400+ bases around the world, we continue to waste millions on jets that the military doesn't even want (but which politicians demand because it means jobs for their states) and yet we cannot afford "health care" in our own country.

While our country's infrastructure, education, and health care systems rot, our country can continue to hand out money in worthless wars, overgrown bases, and lazy jet plane manufacturers.

While our people suffer with the nation's debt in a horrible economy, we continue to pledge billions to Iraq to "prop up theirs" despite their country being on top one of the greatest oil reserves in the world.

We're being taken for idiots.

Yet, who's stopping them?

Certainly not the right, who is not only permitting this fleeching of America, but encouraging it!

When will our government stop building up others and concentrate on us? Lets build up America.

JoeBlow
Far East USA, SC

"America is suffering through an epidemic of crime, addiction, and immorality."

It would be hard to quantify how these are our greatest challenges.

I find it ironic that people have no problem spending trillions of dollars to "liberate the Iraqi people" but want to cut services to our poor.

Again, Again Again I ask those so opposed to Obamacare to propose an alternative.

And the silence remains deafening.

pragmatistferlife
salt lake city, utah

So I ask is it ok with Republicans that when considering the 17 wealthist nations America ranks dead last in general health condition, dead last in life expectency, dead last in pre-mature mortality,and anywhere from dead last to 13th and 14th when considering deaths from specific illnesses. Oh yea..we rank second in self reported health condition. This is not a system with "some problems" this is a system that doesn't work. One of the reasons we got here, 10% or so of the population buy health insurance on their own (reasonable to think because of costs it's primarily major medical), and around 15% don't have any insurance. So probably around 25% of our population doesn't have regular access to health care until it's 1) too late and 2)enormously expnensive.

This is not a problem states acting independently can solve, they never have. It's a national problem and will take a national solution. Or stop the constitutional mumbo jumbo and just man up and say it's ok for for some to live and others to die based on employment, occupational choices, and station in life.

Twin Lights
Louisville, KY

Don't like Obamacare? No problem. But please do not talk about personal responsibility like that is what we had prior. How can anyone claim personal responsibility unless they are either properly insured or have a minimum of about $250,000 in a health care escrow?

Anyone claiming that they can take care of their own healthcare is naive. You may look and be healthy - today. Tomorrow you may have a stroke, heart attack, or one of any number of illnesses that will change your health future dramatically and permanently. And yes, this happens to the young. Many cases of bipolar disorder are diagnosed in young, otherwise healthy adults.

Without good insurance or significant wealth, such illnesses can bankrupt you and put your family firmly into poverty.

Anyone who goes without insurance is playing roulette with other people's money. Hoping/betting that they will not get sick. But if they do, they will present themselves to the local hospital as a charity case (once their money runs out) and then be dependent on either the taxpayers or other hospital clients to bail them out (because the money to help them does not drop from the sky).

CHS 85
Sandy, UT

@John "Charity" Spring

"Every person who claims that healthcare is a right should be condemned. No one has a right to any medical service unless he is willing to earn the money to pay for it himself."

I'll tell that to my cancer-stricken brother who lost his insurance when his company was restructured. He has now exhausted his savings, even cashing in his retirement savings. I guess he can just die since he can no longer afford the very expensive cancer treatments.

I hope Mitt Romney wins in November. I'll give him the same courtesy and patience that the conservatives have given President Obama to get the country turned around. I expect that by the end of his four years a new health care plan is in place, and the economy is running at 100%, unemployment is 2% and gas is under $1.50 per gallon.

Irony Guy
Bountiful, Utah

I just read elsewhere in this newspaper about a young woman with melanoma who is struggling to pay $4000 a month for treatment AFTER insurance. Sick and disabled, she is trying to make up the difference by begging the public for help. Nowhere in the civilized world but in the USA are ordinary people reduced to begging when they become desperately ill. It's an absolute travesty, and the writer of this letter along with all "conservatives" have no response but "self reliance," which is just code for "it's your problem, Sweetie."

Eric Samuelsen
Provo, UT

My son and his wife are provident people. They pay their bills, they both are employed, they are not extravagant in lifestyle. Right now, my son is in graduate school, getting training that will help him rise in his chosen profession.
Grad school is expensive. They both worked while my son's wife earned her graduate degree, and now they're both working so that he can finish his. They have not incurred much debt. But this one year, they decided they simply could not afford health insurance. They've had it in the past, but the premiums went up past the point where they could afford it. So they crossed their fingers, just for this one year.
The other night, my son's wife became very seriously ill. They delayed going to the hospital as long as they felt they could. Finally, they could wait no longer.
That one trip to the emergency room is going to cost every nickel my son will earn with his assistantship this fall.
They'll pay it back. We'll help too. But this is wrong. And all these calls for 'self-reliance' and 'innovation' and 'market solutions' are empty headed nonsense.

Moderate
Salt Lake City, UT

Pre-emptive airstrikes and casting the sick aside to die in the gutter. The qualifications for "Christian Nation" must be pretty low.

EJM
Herriman, UT

Twin lights, CHS 85 and Irony guy have each, in their own way, highlighted the main problems with healthcare in this country. Who should address the issue? The private sector or public sector? Where does the concept of personal responsibility come into play when 35% of our nation is said to be obese? Is obesity genetic or are we fast becoming a lazy,feed our faces nation? What about pre-existing conditions? Should there be caps on the amounts insurance companies pay for treatment? Should hospitals be allowed to turn away people who can't pay?

With every answer possible, with both the yes and no positions, people will say "you are discriminating against" this group or that group. Not one leader wants to offend anyone, and I do mean anyone. Even though I disagree with some of the postings on here, such as John Charity Spring, at least HE is willing to be up front about a point of view. I only wish our politicians on both sides of the aisle would step up with more concrete proposals as to addressing the health care issue in our country.

procuradorfiscal
Tooele, UT

Re: "Given this massive giveaway to banking I thinkt [sic] there is plenty of wealth in big capital to fix healthhcare."

Therein lies the problem.

All leftists insist there's plenty of money to go around, since leftist fatcats have learned how to game the system.

This leftist crony captitalism is nearly as ruinous as the welfare entitlement mentality being peddled by leftist pols.

But one ruinous leftist scheme does not justify another.

CHS 85
Sandy, UT

@EJM

I'll give you my take and an actual opinion, rather than another anecdote.

I lived under a government-run healthcare system for 20 years in the US military. The doctors I saw were government employees, as were the nurses, orderlies, receptionists, etc. When I had my knee operated on, it was in a government-run hospital on an Army base. The care I received was excellent.

The government can run healthcare effectively. The military and VA have excellent heath care professionals as well as excellent facilities. VA medical system has overhead costs also hovering around 3% and is generally regarded as providing excellent medical coverage for those eligible.

I believe with American ingenuity, we can come up with a health care system that both shows compassion and meets the needs of everyone, rich or poor. When I was "subjected" to government-run health care, what I saw was excellence, pride, and efficiency. It is time to move that direction for all Americans.

RedShirt
USS Enterprise, UT

To "pragmatistferlife" have you even read the criteria that is used by the international community to rank healthcare system?

How can the US rank dead last when they have the highest life expectancy, when accidental death is factored out. For most cancers the US has the highest survival rates. For response time between diagnosis and treatment, the US is the best.

Tell us, it what ways does the US rank so low? From what I have seen and read, the US only ranks so low because we don't have universal care, that is it.

To "CHS 85" would you rather have a government person tell your brother and his family that he can't get any more cancer treatment? From England's Telegraph we read "Lung cancer victims denied lifesaving scans" Does death due to lack of funding become easier when it is somebody elses money?

To "Irony Guy" what about the women in England who were forced to give birth in offices, bathrooms, elevators, and other locations around a hospital? Is it more civilized to give poor treatment to people because the public coffers can't afford any better?

The Real Maverick
Orem, UT

I find it hilarious that repubs rant about the cost of a single payer system... They're completely oblivious to our own system.

Isn't our "free market" driven system a lot more expensive than the single payer system and not nearly as effective?

Or is having the highest costs while not insuring everyone and while being denied/dropped coverage not evidence enough that our system is failing?

When will repubs finally admit that their precious free market system has failed? When 100 million Americans are uninsured? When we spend 10 times as much as the next country in health care spending?

Guess I shouldn't expect much from the same group of people who believe that Iraq has WMDs, deny man made global warming, claim that trickle down economics work, and believe that our President was born in Kenya.

Eric Samuelsen
Provo, UT

Okay, here's my challenge:
Fact: health care is very expensive. Diagnostic tests, medications, surgery; all very expensive. Ruinously so for low and middle-income families. People who get good insurance through their jobs can afford to get sick. People who don't generally can neither afford to purchase it, or to go without. That reality is not in dispute.
So for those of you who oppose Obamacare, what is your solution? What practical, real world solution do you offer?
No ideology or abstractions. Forget catch phrases like 'self-reliance and innovation.' Forget scare-mongering tactics, holding up the irrelevant bogeyman of 'socialized medicine.' What is your answer? What do you propose that will allow low and middle-income families to thrive?
Because in America, when it's three in the morning and a baby is really sick, and families have to weigh two utterly irresponsible choices, either adding debt to a family barely making ends meet, or not treating a dangerously ill child, when that happens routinely, daily, in the richest country in the history of the world, that's not okay. That is not what it means to be an American.

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