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Web Letter

The first issue for healthcare reform is the moral question as to whether or not the majority of people in America believe it is the right of all people to have decent healthcare. I think we do. If I'm wrong, then the USA is the worst of all the industrialized countries in the world, because every other country has real universal healthcare.

The second issue is to ask the question why so many of our senators and Congressmen won't stand up for something that is fundamentally right. I believe that the real answer is that our election laws are corrupt. Until we take the money out of the electoral process, all of the morally weak politians (most of them) are afraid to buck the big money. That includes most politians on all sides of the aisle. The drug and insurance companies as well as the trial lawyers couldn't care less about the poor in this country. They only care about how much money they can make, and the rest be damned. That is a fact about our materialistic, selfish country. It will take decades, if ever, for the values of the USA to change, but I believe that the president is trying. Good for him!

Everyone should write to his/her Congressman and senators and demand comprehensive healthcare reform. If they don't vote for it, vote them the hell out of office. All of the arguments against it are bull. Every rich country in the world has healthcare for everyone. All of these states manage it for less money than we do. Some countries accomplish it for 25 percent of the US cost, per capita and by percentage of GDP. If we can't do as well as these other countries, we should blow ourselves up. It would be pitiful!

The last thing I would like to say is that 99 percent of all Americans are Christain, Jewish or Islamic. All three religions literally demand that every single human being treat all other humans as they want to be treated. Let all of the big -mouth politicians and TV pundits announce that they are for selfish and greedy self-concern and are willing to go against their own religion. Hypocricy reigns in America, and it's shameful.

Daniel Scher

Hardwick Township, NJ

Oct 27 2009 - 2:27pm

Web Letter

I am self-employed, so the complete burden of healthcare insurance for my family is paid by me. Although I intensely hate paying my insurance premium, which has gone up another 10 percent this year without any explanation--just a form letter--I feel the average American is not getting enough information about healthcare reform to formulate a rational opinion. If the insurance companies are making so much profit, how come their profit margins are so low?

Does anyone truly believe the government could operate at less than 6 percent profit margin? If the federal government is so efficient, how come there is so much waste in the Medicare/Medicaid health system? I wonder if the demonizing of the insurance industry is stopping our public officials from looking deeper to where the waste is in the healthcare system. Is it in the delivery system? What about tort and malpractice reform? The process seems to be moving too quickly, just like the stimulus program. Everything I read states that these programs wouldn't be implemented until 2012 or 2013, what's the rush? I'm afraid that we "the people" wouldn't understand how this bill will affects us until months after its passage. That's just plain scary.

M.E. Gillin

Charlotte, NC

Oct 27 2009 - 2:24pm

Web Letter

Universal coverage and the public option are very appealing but every government study shows that premiums and costs would not go down but would instead increase. There is not one government program in existence that has not increased ten to more than one hundred times the cost the government initially claimed it would cost. Food stamps have increased by 10,000 (yes, ten thousand) percent from what they were initially claimed to cost the government, and no sane person believes the number of poor people in this country has increased by 10,000 percent.

All those who criticize people who are worried about the costs... beware! We will be paying more money than we are now, and the only way the government will be able to keep costs down is to ration care--which means that certain medical tests you can get now, you will not be able to with a public option. If you think that’s fine, then great. Let’s just hope that until you die at a ripe old age you are never, ever sick because under a government plan certain tests will be denied to you. And for the elderlys, all I can say is good luck! Obama wants to save $800 billion over ten years by cutting Medicare costs. It's an absurdity that digitizing medical records will save that many billions. If you truly believe you can cut out $800 billion dollars from Medicare without cutting benefits and rationing care, then I have a bridge in Brooklyn I would like to sell you.

Unless and until the government is going to seriously change the way the insurance companies, trial lawyers and pharmaceutical companies do business, any system will fail. John McCain stated during the campaign that the Republicans are in bed with the insurance companies, the Democrats are in bed with the trial lawyers and both parties are in bed with the pharmaceutical companies. He was 100 percent correct--we can bandy about terms like "public option" all we want, but until we rein in the the above three groups that are bankrupting the health care system, nothing much will change. Unless we change the above, a government plan will not save money and will end up severely rationing care for everyone.

True presidential leadership involves going after the insurance companies, trial lawyers and drug companies, and doing what's best for the American people, not one political party. Rhetoric will not pay for a good healthcare system, nor will it correct the problems that are putting more and more Americans on the edge of bankruptcy and despair due to rising healthcare costs and denials of coverage.

Mark Jeffery Koch

Cherry Hill, NJ

Oct 26 2009 - 4:54pm

Web Letter

I am enraged, even apoplectic, at "my" Senate Democrats. If there are opt-outs, opts-in or any other slimy "catches" in the final healthcare bill, I will be out of luck.

I live in Texas, and you can take it to the bank (any bank, if you dare) that Texas will opt out of anything that actually helps Texans. The insurance industry and utilities already own us, because in Texas they are unregulated.

Write my senators? What for? Their names are John Cornyn and Kay Bailey Hutchison. We burn books here.

This state's right's crap in the healthcare bill is utter treachery; I despise it, and I shudder at the degree to which Congress is slip-sliding on the rancid grease of capitalism.

We ordinary Americans can't afford to buy our lawmakers, so somebody else always will. The US has no right to point at corruption in Russia, South America, Afghanistan or anywhere else.

A miserable country has resulted from a magnificent ideal.

Laura P. Bohmfalk

Dallas, TX

Oct 26 2009 - 3:20pm

Web Letter

Re that cow you'd be stupid to buy (because you get the milk for free):

We can't restock the shelves at the food pantry in rural PA where I work as a volunteer. For months, we've been without cheese and butter (though truth be told, those items have been "process cheese food" and "margarine" for years). This is the result of the failure of the state legislature to adopt a budget.

As soon as government workers began to be laid off, word came down that we no longer had to bother asking potential recipients to show proof of income/proof of eligibility. Most of the people we serve are elderly; most of the rest are young couples with children.

I'm not suggesting a public option would turn medical professionals into die-hard Dems. I'm just wondering about those fifty-three new bureaus that some Republican member of the US Congress said we'd need to create, should we adopt for ourselves a public option.

J.E. Bernecky

Westover, PA

Oct 26 2009 - 8:28am