Health care reform is overdue
Coverage of the Apollo 11 moon landing and Walter Cronkite’s passing provide critical reminders for today’s discussions of health care reform: the importance of vision and the need for action. President Kennedy’s vision of a man on the moon inspired the nation to invest further in the already expensive moon program, understanding that the investment would pay long-term dividends. This is a good model for how we should think about health care now. With all the civil rights and other social changes that have happened in the last 40 years, we still haven’t addressed health care needs. Isn’t it finally time for action?
The cost of not having health care for all has been clear since the Great Depression: increased costs for emergency room services and higher costs of education and social services. So why not finally take action to address this issue NOW?
On the brink of action, Congress has balked because the Congressional Budget Office reported that the prevailing proposal would cost more. Of course, it would cost more to assure that millions of people who don’t now have health care will receive it. But it’s an investment that will pay long-term future dividends to our country. Congress should coalesce around President Barack Obama’s vision of doing the right thing, assuring that everyone in this country has quality health care and then go to work on shifting how the overall system works. That investment will reap dividends for this country.
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CYNTHIA STEWART, Olympia
Health care reform scary for seniors
Maybe reform is needed, but the more I learn the more I become concerned. Diverting Medicare funds pays for the proposed reform. Further, increased taxes on small business will be passed on to everyone. Rationing health services for patients will be part of a new government insurance entity competing with private companies. A panel will make critical decisions on available medical procedures for you and me – not our doctors.
The Mayo Clinic says the House reform bills will not create higher quality and more affordable medical care. In fact, it says it’ll do the opposite.
Someone asked the President recently what he would do if a family member needed medical treatment not permitted by the new government plan and an unauthorized treatment was available. “Would you, Mr. President, stay in the reformed health plan with the rest of us or would you seek the additional treatment?” He answered that he would always seek the best for his family. Recall, he and Congress have their own separate first-rate plan.
So, let me get this straight, Mr. President. You propose to ration medical services for vulnerable seniors while extending coverage to uninsured folks including some 15 million illegal aliens. Maybe we should call this the audacity of gall; only a politician would label regression for people as “reform.”
Why don’t you and Congress volunteer to become part of the new plan? That way when there is a mess, we would rest easier knowing it would soon be reformed.
RICHARD PUZ, Olympia
Obama can’t work miracles
There has been a lot printed on this page lately about the goings-on in the other Washington. I offer two thoughts.
First, to those who oppose ‘socialized medicine’ because of long waiting lists for procedures in the UK and Canada. You are missing one screaming fact — if you don’t have insurance in the United States, like more than 40 million of our citizens, the waiting list for medical procedures is INFINITE.
Second, to those who complain about what our president is or isn’t doing. A recent caller to NPR had a great response — Obama’s campaign slogan wasn’t “Yes, I can,” It was “Yes WE can.” He can’t fix anything (or break anything) by himself. The complainers need to get up and get involved.
KATE LAVERENTS, Olympia
Public must protect Capitol Lake
I am watching the quality of life I have enjoyed over my lifetime in Olympia disappear in a few short years because of manipulated, poor public processes that disregard the will of Olympia’s residents. The latest of these is the decision by CLAMP regarding the future of Capitol Lake.
CLAMP has never been representative of Olympia residents and has been flawed since its inception: it is a board made up overwhelmingly of the regulators that refused to allow Capitol Lake to be dredged and by design has excluded the public. Is it any surprise it took CLAMP 10 years and $2 million of tax payer money to come up with the same minority opinion they started with?
I encourage the residents of Olympia to contact the state Capitol Committee, the Director of General Administration, House and Senate representatives and the Governor. Unlike CLAMP (which is an advisory group), these individuals have the ability to make binding decisions regarding the future of Capitol Lake. Remind them that the majority of Olympia residents stand clearly behind the desire to keep Capitol Lake. Let them know that we expect better public processes than what we’ve seen in recent years.
We are the citizens of this community; we, more than anyone else, have the right to decide its future. It is time that the “powers that be” were reminded of that and began to act accordingly.
SCOTT MCLAIN, Olympia