Re: "Playing on fears in health debate," Aug 9:
I read your article regarding the healthcare debate and wanted to thank you for it. I have been torn between wanting to get involved in the reform process but have been very confused by it all. I thought it was just me.
Although I have not been attracted to or swayed by the angry mobs of antagonistic protesters, I figured that there had to be some fuel behind the flames. In any case, thank you for confirming what I knew all along; that I have to look deeply into this issue myself and fast.
Currently uninsured, I know all too well what it is like to be turned away from the county clinics because they are overbooked. Not having access to proper healthcare has been more stressful, and therefore harmful, than the ailment itself.
I thought your article about healthcare was outstanding. It seems that any group with money can broadcast its own propaganda repeatedly until it becomes a sort of truth. There seems to be no effective way to counter this. What a discouraging situation.
Though I agree there is a lot of anecdotal, emotion-driven response from those opposing healthcare reform, there is also a huge vacuum of information coming from health reform advocates.
Lack of real information about a single-payer, national healthcare system under President Obama's plan is what's driving the fear. Opponents know more about the plan than most Democratic senators do, and they are simply stating obvious questions and wanting answers. Who's paying for this reform? Is healthcare quality really going to be better? Will I have more or less choice when it comes to my care?
Reformists have a hard time articulating the positive outcomes of the healthcare reform proposal because there are so few, and it is completely within 1st Amendment rights to ask what they are and how it's going to be accomplished.
When I hear that the new plan will be paid for in part by cutting Medicare costs, I get very upset because the funds that I and all other seniors contributed are going to be used to pay healthcare costs for people who have made no monetary contributions. And it is very likely the quality of healthcare for seniors will be degraded.
So we pay two ways -- less care, and someone else getting the benefit of the money we contributed. Our president says he will not sign a bill that increases the national debt. That's a fine sentiment, but he plans to pay for it in part by hurting seniors. Another example of wealth redistribution that I cannot support and I hope you can't either.