Web Letters | The Nation

Web Letter

Have Americans been hoodwinked into believing that the public option is the remedy and ultimate panacea for all things healthcare in this nation? This is clearly a subterfuge, and has gained critical mass through corporate media and the pandering of politicians led by Max Baucus ($3 million plus from the insurance industry).With the so-called public option, we have nothing more than the preservation of the status quo. The insurance industry will continue to make obscene profits, raise premiums and exercise no restraint in the denial of coverage; all underwritten by legislative mandate.

The only real solution to this country’s healthcare nightmare is an expansion of an already proven model: Medicare. In a single-payer arrangement like that of Medicare, we would have guaranteed comprehensive universal coverage for all residents, from birth to death; 95 percent of all Americans would pay less for healthcare, with no co-pays, deductibles or premiums. The myth that patients would have no choice in physicians, providers and hospitals is simply not true. Cost of single-payer when compared to the public option would be a savings of $400 billion, primarily by reducing administrative waste, negotiating budgets for hospitals and purchasing prescription drugs in bulk. Medicare’s track record is a proven one; and with some modifications to infrastructure, single-payer would create a high-quality, universal healthcare system.

The moral and ethical ramifications of the healthcare issue truly define America’s resolve to live up to its promise and creed of justice and equality for all. The task of reform must not be entrusted to Senators or Representatives whose treasury has been underwritten by the very people who stand to gain the most if the single-payer option fails. The failures of deregulation have long and venomous tentacles that have paralyzed and placed a stranglehold on the consumer and fair play in the market place. The concept of the free market is moribund, the victim of greed and derugulation. The benefactors of this laissez-faire regulatory arrangement have cashed in at every turn and exploited labor and plotted the demise of unions in this post-antitrust environment.

The complexities of our current economic collapse are not in isolation or separate from the healthcare issue but in fact are compounded by it. Foreclosures and bankruptcies blend neatly into this caldron of toxic economic stew. It is time to reign in those whose selfish interests have resulted in such great burdens for the majority.

bob washburn

Huson, MT

Oct 26 2009 - 8:37am

Web Letter

Why do you so vigorously support medical insurance reform, like the Senate committee bill, that does not alleviate the problems we are told face the medical insurance complex: cost and access? Are you willing to accept incremental steps toward a single-payer system? Why do you so harshly criticize the medical insurance industry for opposing medical insurance reform policies that will regulate them out of business?

Would you oppose regulation that dictated the manner, method and amount of payment to a writer and simultaneously mandated access to your written work? Would you stop writing in response to that? Would you then support a single government-run media to replace your now-defunct industry?

If insurance were not focus, would you support a federal government mandate of medical care for all, i.e., government monopoly of physicians and medical care and not just control of the payment thereof?

If so, what care would be provided? Would you support having a cardiologist accompany everyone at all times? How about each person has their own hospital staff? Or, would each person receive a single check-up and a lollipop? How much and what type of medical care should be provided at taxpayer expense? How much medical are should one person be able to demand that other people provide him?

Could a person, if she had any of her hard-earned money left, go get something better?

Do you accept that one person should have the right to earn, own, lose, live and die differently than his neighbor?

Do you see that equality and liberty are two ends on a continuum and as you mandate equality you limit liberty?

Do you favor a society with no socioeconomic diversity, where everyone is lower-middle class and the government extracts such a high cost of resources to redistribute that individual productive incentives disappear?

Do you essentially want medical care to be provided by the state, but you are willing to take incremental medical insurance reform as a proxy for your policy goals?

I have a million more questions, but your answer to these questions may help me understand your incredible support of medical insurance reform.

David G. Guidry

Charlotte, NC

Oct 25 2009 - 11:01am

Web Letter

Attractive as the idea might be on the surface, it is worth remembering that in California they built their tax structure mostly on the top incomes. When top incomes fell, they were left in deep trouble. Moderate incomes did not fall nearly as badly.

John D. Froelich

Upper Darby, PA

Oct 23 2009 - 12:21pm

Web Letter

Mr. Feder along with his cohorts at The Nation are going to continue to beat the public option drum and castigate anyone who opposes it as somehow protecting the profits of the status quo, advocating inequalty and bla, bla, bla .

In truth, progressives are resentful toward the public option because they see a compromise of their guiding principle of a single-payer national healthcare system .

The deal acceptable to progressives is clear: a "robust" public option that will create an architecture that maybe fashioned into a future single-payer federal program. Unfortunately for Progressive, yet fortunate for the country, the American people are catching on and object to the cost and intrusiveness of a new federal entitlement.

brian marks

Richardson ( Dallas), TX

Oct 23 2009 - 12:09pm