Letter to the Editor

There is no health care 'crisis'

Sunday, August 2, 2009

To the Editor:

I suppose I am one of the very few people that believe that there is no health care crisis in the United States today.

As far as I know, anyone regardless of age, race, citizenship status, etc., can obtain medical services anywhere and anytime in this country. And they can obtain that care without health insurance or money.

So the crisis is not that we have a lack of access to medical care or a lack of competent healthcare providers. We have the best medical care in the world.

The problem (not crisis) that does exist is the skyrocketing cost of health insurance and medical services, both of which can be directly related to a combination of several factors.

Mismanaged government run programs (Medicare and Medicaid) and a segment of our population that does not pay for their medical are result in higher medical costs for the insured.

The government has estimates that very from 30 million to 45 million Americans being uninsured on any given day. Of that number, approximately 20 million people may only be between jobs and eventually obtain health insurance, either through an employer, or privately, or those who can fully afford insurance, but, for whatever reason, decide to decline that coverage.

Also included in that figure may be as many as 15 million illegal immigrants who fill our emergency rooms to capacity in many cities of our country. The group of uninsured that remains are those citizens who truly cannot afford the high cost of health insurance. Many of that group may likely qualify for, but have not registered for Medicaid.

So how does congress propose to pay for a government-run healthcare program that covers everyone in this country?

Regardless of what is coming out of Washington, health care is not free for anyone. This health care proposal, which has an estimated cost of upwards of $1.7 trillion, has to be paid for somehow.

It basically means higher unemployment, higher taxes and higher prices across the board. Couple that with an increasing limited access to health care.

Currently, the health care reform proposals wish to drastically reduce Medicare benefits (so long grandma), require employers to provide health benefits to all employees or receive fines up to 8 percent of their payroll (goodbye small business), require all Americans to carry health insurance or be fined up to $2,500 a year (what, no free choice) and increase taxes on the so called wealthiest citizens (so what, you say). How long will it be before that "wealthy" tax trickles down to every taxpayer because revenues will no longer pay for such an overreaching program?

At this time, it appears that both Medicare and Medicaid are bankrupt (really). So the government needs another social program to pilfer. The current health care bill in the House has a provision that allows Congress to use funds from the plan for programs not related to health care. Imagine that.

Yes, we do need some reform in health care. But not the kind that denies senior citizens medical services and transfers those to illegal immigrants. We need to work with insurance companies to protect the insured from having their insurance canceled due to catastrophic illnesses and lifetime maximum limits, as well as eliminating the "pre-existing condition" clause.

Medicare and Medicaid need to be properly managed and investigated to put an end to rampant fraud (theft, not only by individuals, but also government). We can't keep robbing one fund to prop up another.

Most importantly, we need to do something about illegal immigration. It is draining all our social programs.

If these issues can be managed successfully, the cost of medical services and health insurance can be controlled, accordingly.

Let us not create another slush fund. Please contact your senators and congressmen and ask them to vote "no" on this absurd health care reform bill.

Jo Wininger,