To the Editor:
I was amazed by the letter that appeared in the paper Monday, Aug. 3, claiming there is no health care crisis.
There are many working poor in this country who do not have health insurance.
They earn "too much" to qualify for Medicaid, but not enough to purchase insurance.
People who are more fortunate need to remember that minimum wage and living wage are two different things.
Hospitals and doctors may be required to treat all people, but the treatment is not free.
Many sick people will not seek medical treatment because pride keeps them from getting help they cannot afford.
Those patients who have no insurance are hounded, even if they are trying to pay. Medical providers and collection agencies will demand more than people can afford to pay each month. They will call at all hours, garnish wages, even drive people to bankruptcy.
I'm sure you have seen the ads saying that health insurance is available for as little as "$6 a day, $10 for families." I know very few people who can afford $180 per month ($300 for a family) for health insurance. You may also be sure that this is for very minimal coverage.
The insurance companies are for requiring everyone to have insurance.
They say more people buying coverage would lower the cost for all. I remember when the insurance companies made the argument that safer cars and mandated coverage would lower the cost of car insurance. That was a lie then and it is untrue now about health insurance.
The public option is necessary for those who work at low-paying jobs. It would allow them to purchase affordable coverage from the government.
Nobody is asking for free coverage, just affordable, effective coverage.
Insurance companies have seen profits increase by 400 percent while at the same time, covering 20 percent fewer people.
I am truly amazed by the anger generated by outright lies about death panels, rationing and all the other lies.
There is more outrage over a sincere desire to make health care available to all than I have seen in many years.
I would not be so upset if the right wing diatribes were based on fact.
Where was all this outrage seven years ago when Bush and the GOP lied to enable a war in Iraq?
That war has killed thousands (including my much-loved nephew), crippled tens of thousands and cost trillions of dollars.
It is time for the GOP, now the party of "no," to realize they lost the election.
It is time for the Democrats to realize they won. Forget the ideal of bipartisanship, it will not work.
No matter how hard President Obama tries, the GOP will make no constructive suggestions. It is time to push back.
Tell the party of no and the insurance companies (who are spending millions of dollars a day of your premiums to fight reform) to get out of the way.
It is time for Democrats to follow the platform on which they were elected.
It is time for Democrats in Congress and across America to say "yes" to public option health care and to putting this country back on the right track.
Anita R. Wilson,