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Web Letter

Republicans are doing what their constituents put them in office to do. Dems, though, have gone rogue, paving the way for Republicans. CHIPS was the start. That program had as its sole purpose sparing eligible white voters the embarrassment of applying for welfare.

I'd have preferred being part of a single-payer system to what Congress seems determined to have me be: part of the old one-receiver system, with "reform" being represented by even more complexity. How must this feel to those who are on fixed incomes, and who are old, or ill, or injured or in some other way or ways weaker than any member of Congress?

A single-payer system would've allowed me to get care (even if it originated only in the form of money) from the people who would obviously have controlled it, when I discovered--as usual--that I was being gouged.

If I can't have a single-payer system for Christmas, I want to see Nancy Pelosi trying to put "Recall" off the table.

J.E. Bernecky

Westover, PA

Dec 24 2009 - 10:42am

Web Letter

Feder has succumbed to the rhetorical device of "coverage." He looks at this "reform" legislation emerging from Congress--which is more than anything else intended to enshrine the power and prerogatives of the health insurance and pharmaceutical cartels in Washington, DC--and he sees "coverage." This "coverage" comes in the form of the compulsory purchase and effective leasing of health care payments from, yes, the insurance cartel. The "coverage" comes in the form of sacred guarantees given to the pharmaceutical cartel that their precious patent monopolies will never be threatened by any form of competition or innovation or price control.

This "coverage" comes in the form of lower-quality and less-frequent healthcare services for the "covered," and taxes from the public effectively going directly into the pockets of big business.

Renaming corporate exploitation and profound government and Democratic Party corruption "coverage" does not change the fact that healthcare "reform" as we see it is all about enriching the already richest members of society, and it is all about reinforcing the power of big business over the normal person and over our society in general.

Let's not talk of "improving" this atrocious legislation. Let's talk about throwing Democrats out of office at all costs in 2010 and 2012.

Seymour Friendly

Seattle, WA

Dec 24 2009 - 10:02am

Web Letter

Here is a peek into the future.

President Obama’s health care reform is going to be a great success.How could we know that? By learning from the way in which Mr. Obama reformed Wall Street.

As you know, at the cost of up to $1 trillion to the taxpayers, the banks got their losses covered, refused to lend the money to the small businesses, hiked up the interest rates to the customers and showered themselves with lavish bonuses. All of that led to continued losses of American jobs.

There is no reason to expect any different outcome with healthcare reform. We can bet that it will result in far fewer people losing their healthcare coverage, compared to what would happen if the Obama Administration failed to act.

Why?

Because the healthcare reform bill was written by the healthcare industry insiders in the same way the TARP program was created by bankers.

What about the provisions demanding the insurance companies cover the people with pre-existing conditions? No problem at all. They will do it! However, all of them will do it, meaning they will just pass the cost back to the customers. More services provided, higher cost created, more bills charged, more profits collected, all of this leading to dramatically higher costs for healthcare. It will become too expensive for businesses to subsidize health coverage for their employees any longer, premiums will go up and many families will be forced to drop their insurance because they will not be able to pay for it. Of course, those people will be forced to pay the fines for not having the healthcare insurance, which means they will pay for the coverage they lost.

If you want to drive a Mercedes, you will have to pay more out of your pocket. Is there any clause in the bill demanding the insurance companies cover the increased cost out of their profits? No! It means the customers will pay for it out of their pockets.

However, if the healthcare reform bill prescribed that the healthcare and pharmaceutical industry become nonprofit organizations, as the US military is, and if it outlawed the endless drug commercials in our mainstream media, one would assume that those fat profit margins and the money not wasted on the senseless commercials could be used for providing more essential services at the same previous cost.

Of course, the significant savings and the increased number of the service providers (which would lead to increased competition and lower wages in the medical sector) could have been achieved by letting high school graduates go directly to medical school without demanding they waste up to four years on completing completely unrelated studies in totally different areas.

Thanks to the sturdy leadership of the White House, we know that only the minimum amount of the Americans will lose their healthcare coverage in the near future.

Kenan Porobic

Charlotte, NC

Dec 24 2009 - 8:23am

Web Letter

It is preposterou to publish such an essay on health care and not erven note that the "individual mandate" is very shaky and is quite likely to be overruled as unconstitutional!

What is the fallback position? Or are you trying to pretend that the likelihood does not exist?

John D. Froelich

Upper Darby, Pennsylvania

Dec 24 2009 - 2:33am

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