Re "Health reform accord in House," July 30
To all those politicians out there trying to defeat healthcare reform and a public option, please note: When you use as your talking point, "We have the best medical services and healthcare system in the world," you fail to end your sentence with three additional words: "For the rich."
As a retiree, I find Medicare to be an eminently workable single-payer insurance plan.
Private insurance companies are not shut out -- they have the chance to compete for my dollar because I buy the optional supplemental Medicare insurance.
I would like to see Medicare offered as an option (not a requirement) to all citizens, pegging their premiums at the average of commercial insurance policies, but not to exceed some percentage of their income.
Why does healthcare have to be more complicated than that?
I keep hearing that America has the world's best democracy, is a shining beacon and so forth. We even invaded Iraq, selflessly, at great cost, to spread democracy.
Now, many Americans want health insurance reform with a public option. Obviously, as democracy is so important, such legislation would sail through Congress. Lawmakers of every stripe would be clamoring for it, right?
America has the best politicians money can buy. Laws are passed to suit corporate interests, not average Americans.
Despite continual media and Obama disinformation therapy, most people remain satisfied with current health insurance.
A 1,018-page healthcare bill promises high-quality care for all. Instead, it would deliver tax increases that wouldn't cover badly understated costs.
A health insurance industry offering private plans would become a vanishing choice as employers would avoid premium taxation and penalties for not offering insurance and would accept federal subsidies.
For the vast majority, single-payer socialized insurance would mean cradle-to-grave bureaucratic subservience.
The most important consequence is the loss of personal freedom for this vital area of life.
As a doctor, I am convinced by firsthand experience that our patients desperately need healthcare reform this year. That means giving them the freedom of choice to keep their current plan or have the choice of a high-quality, affordable public health insurance plan.
We see patients every day who are more afraid of medical bills than their illnesses.
A public health insurance option would decrease costs and force private health insurers to compete on a level playing field.
It is useful to note that during the current worldwide financial crisis, Europeans do not have to worry about losing access to healthcare.
When will Congress realize that until the cost of healthcare is built into the economy of the nation (and significantly diminished from corporate America's balance sheet) the citizens of this nation will continue to be at the mercy of the health insurance industry? This is too important and complex to be left to the machinations of a for-profit health insurance industry.
Oak Park, Calif.