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To Senator Harry Reid, and all other US Senators: an Open Letter

Original post made by Alice Schaffer Smith, Green Acres, on Dec 8, 2009

Health care reform legislation must guarantee access to comprehensive and essential benefits to all U.S. residents. It is universal coverage that will determine the humanity of our system, and a public option will make that possible for Americans who cannot obtain coverage through traditional employer-sponsored plans. I believe that the public insurance option is the only way to adequately control costs and protect consumer choice. Every American deserves a choice of health insurance plans, including a public option like Medicare.

The federal government needs to take strong action to reduce costs for individuals, businesses and communities. As a nation, we are spending $1 out of every $6 we earn on health care. Over the last three decades, increases in the amount spent on health care have consistently risen faster than wages and inflation. If nothing is done, we could be spending $3 trillion for health care by 2011 and $4.2 trillion by 2016.

To remove the public option is to deny fair and equitable healthcare. I lived in Europe for 22 years. My daughters were given safe, quick and free healthcare when they became ill, whilst visiting in the UK.

Everyone had the right to basic education (and their literacy is a lot higher than the USA’s), basic housing and healthcare. They taxed the people more but everyone was better off.

We must not be fouled or failed by Republican bullyboys'handling of our healthcare. Please retain the public option for all of us.

Comments (18)

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Posted by no my view
a resident of another community
on Dec 9, 2009 at 1:48 am

Just view Obama's health care proposal as nothing more than another welfare program, cloaked in promises, that can't be meant in terms of savings and without any support from anyone other then Democrats.

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Posted by Bill
a resident of Midtown
on Dec 9, 2009 at 8:24 am

Are public education and public streets welfare programs, too? I agree that health care is just as important. All other civilized democracies seem to have universal health care.

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Posted by R Wray
a resident of Midtown
on Dec 9, 2009 at 9:52 am

Bill, why should I have to pay for your health care?

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Posted by No
a resident of Leland Manor/Garland Drive
on Dec 10, 2009 at 1:08 pm

I really don't care about what the Jones next door do....I live my way, they live theirs.

Health care is NOT a, liberty and the pursuit of happiness ( property, work, the fruits of your labor, your choices in how you live, your religion, your vote, etc) are the rights Americans were born into. Anything that distracts from these principles is anti-American.

Do not, under any circumstances, destroy my choices in medical insurance like the Feds have destroyed every thing else they have taken over.

Please note the Dept of Education was created in the late 60s,...just when we started plummeting in our education standards.

Please note the "war on poverty" started in the late 60s...just when the black family started breaking up and..shockingly enough, the percent of kids being raised by single moms started skyrocketing..leading..shockingly skyrocketing prison rates for kids of single moms ... mainly which race? lot of good it did, huh? Another race of peoples is rapidly catching up to the dependent broken family model now..and rapidly catching up in prison.

Please note the promises made 40 years ago when Medicare was begun..and it is collapsing. Note the promises that Social Security would just be a "safety net", not full retirement, and how that rapidly taught people not to save for their own retirement..and it is collapsing.

And you want to take over my health care now? After such great results everywhere else? NO

NO, NO and NO!.

We have problems..fix them the FREEDOM and EMPOWERING way, not the enchained dependent-creating way. The classical liberal of my youth and the conservative of today agree on one thing....don't trust the government! What happened to that basic belief?

If we want to actually fix the real the following

1) The proper function of the Feds is to regulate interstate commerce...stop letting some States ( like ours) forbid us from buying health insurance from out of state ---I want to get out of paying for all the State ( lobbied to do) mandates. This will make insurance more affordable by letting us have the "cheap car" equivalent instead of forcing all on the cadillac version.

2) Forcing people to do something is not acceptable..but Incentives are fine: No health insurance? No driver's license. This will eliminate the 10 million uninsured who are in their 20s and can afford insurance, but choose not to buy it, and the other 10 million who are already eligible for government subsidized insurance, but have n't signed up.

TADA- Cheaper insurance, and 20 million fewer uninsured.

3) Pre-existings? The Feds have a proper role in interstate practice acts. Solution to pre-existings? A pooling of PRIVATE insurance companies to figure out a solution. How to do that? Federal mandate more declined applicants from "pre-existings" who HAD insurance when their illness or debility struck, but have since lost their insurance for various reasons. In other words, no rewards for people who choose to throw the dice and not buy insurance in the first place, prefering to wait until "they need it", which defeats the point of the whole "betting" process of insurance.

TA DA- Because more people will have incentives to get their insurance in order to have a driver's license, there will automatically be a decline in the pre-existing population over time. And the immediate problem of the people who HAD insurance when illness struck and not don't is left in the hands of the private sector to solve. Which I trust a lot more than any government to do.

4) The poor who can't afford insurance and are too well off for Govt programs? Once these things are done, we will see how many folks are left who can't afford insurance. Since the prices will go down with more people being incentivized to buy insurance and fewer allowed State restrictions, more people will be able to afford it. Right now about 3% of the American citizenry falls into this bracket of too rich for govt help but too poor to pay health insurance. Once the dust settles, it will be less..and then let's do something about that.

So, no..Americans in growing numbers are understanding what is happening and do NOT want to be turned into a dependent nation of whiners depending on Uncle Sam to launder their neighbors', friends' and familys' money through the government bureacracy in order to "take care of" them. We've seen what happens when we trust government to "save" our money for us in Social Security and Medicare, and want nothing more to do with it.

Remember the story of how to catch a wild pig? Put down free corn every day and let them come to the supply, and while they are eating, build the fence around them and slam the gate shut.

Oink oink!

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Posted by No
a resident of Leland Manor/Garland Drive
on Dec 10, 2009 at 1:12 pm

And, I have to add, and probably will be all who "lived in Europe for x number of years" and think it is so much better than here...why are you here?

If I had lived somewhere and thought it was much better than here..I would move back.

I am not being ugly, I am simply amazed when I here these sentiments and don't understand why those who chose here want to change here and turn us into "there".

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Posted by Reform Healthcare!
a resident of Barron Park
on Dec 10, 2009 at 4:47 pm

We have the worst of all systems: more expensive, less available, less bang for buck.

The U.S. is the worst provider of healthcare among the developed world, and the reason is the for-profit insurance companies. The best approach would be to outlaw all for-profit insurance companies--that way we could get affordable, accessible, cost-effective healthcare.

The systems in Europe are much better than here.

Let's dump this awful system!

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Posted by good grief
a resident of Leland Manor/Garland Drive
on Dec 10, 2009 at 9:12 pm

While we are at it, let's dump our awful Constitution, our Capitalism, our Rights, our Freedoms..heck...let's just dump the most successful and longest running Constitutional Republic the world has ever had and start over and remodel ourselves into Europe, which has done SUCH a better job at everything over the last 230 years!!! ( oh..sorry..they have only been around in their CURRENT manifestation about long would that be since WW2?)

good grief.

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Posted by good grief
a resident of Leland Manor/Garland Drive
on Dec 13, 2009 at 6:54 am

I see our esteemed Congress just won't quit trying to push Statism a la 1930s on us...via bail-outs, government takeovers of private industries, and "universal" bad health they are trying to "remake" our financial structures in, as the WSJ put it, the biggest "financial regulatory makeover since the 1930s".

Can anyone at all please explain to me why we want to repeat the mistakes of FDRs first term?

Watch our economy continue to shrivel up in the face of this constant government assault.

When will we wake up and understand it was bad government policy, like the Community Reinvestment Act and financial regulations of 1998 and 1999, that swept our country into this economic drowning..and stop giving a drowning economy more water to drink?

Mom, Dad, are we in Europe yet? Wake me when we get there, it is too horrible to watch us travel there.

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Posted by Reform Healthcare!
a resident of Barron Park
on Dec 13, 2009 at 8:46 am

good grief,

You seem very insecure about being American. This is not a perfect country, and you'd be better off admitting that.

There is no such thing as statism: Congress was just trying to keep the from imploding after Bush and his cronies collapsed it. The only reason the country is still operating is because of the bailouts. Now, Congress is try to address the incredible problems of our healthcare system, though the Republicans seem determined to turn into the party of obstruction and no solutions.

And no, we're not in Europe yet. If we were, we'd have decent healthcare....

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Posted by Hallliday came HERE for Medical Care
a resident of Leland Manor/Garland Drive
on Dec 13, 2009 at 8:50 am

The famous Johnny Halliday, FRENCH rock star, had to come to the USA to fix a botched surgery he had in France. Web Link

Hmmm...can you imagine Madonna leaving here to go to France for her health care?

And we want to "universal health care" because......?

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Posted by reform Healthcare!
a resident of Barron Park
on Dec 13, 2009 at 8:31 pm


Hmm. I think you're saying that it is inconceivable that an American doctor has ever made a mistake. As a matter of fact, it is not merely conceivable--American doctors have made mistakes.

Now that your position has been demolished, I expect you will fully support adopting universal healthcare and dumping for-profit insurance companies. Another backer for the good guys!! Thanks.

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Posted by Halliday came here...
a resident of Leland Manor/Garland Drive
on Dec 14, 2009 at 6:15 am

No I am saying it is inconceivable that an American doctor couldn't be found to fix another doctor's error.

Why? Because we have a profit motive for producing the absolute best in health care.

I agree, reform health care ....bring back a direct relationship between the consumer and the provider by getting rid of most of the State and Fed regulations that impede my choices in what I can buy. Stop forcing me to pay for hair transplants and language translation services and all the other silly stuff. My insurance premiums will drop, more people will be able to buy insurance, health care providers will still be paid enough to entice them into difficult fields, inventors will still profit from their inventions, we will still be the best in health care, I and my children will still have the best choices as American citizens.

A few other tweaks and we would rid ourselves of those who can afford it but choose not to buy it, and those already eligible for tax-payer supported health care but choose not to enroll until necessary.

We would drop down to having about 10 million, 3% of all citizens, uninsured, and be able to actually address the real problems, instead of the tremendous waste of time and our tax money that has been happening in congress and the senate.

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Posted by Reform Healthcare!
a resident of Barron Park
on Dec 14, 2009 at 7:08 am

"Because we have a profit motive for producing the absolute best in health care." No, not by a long shot (since we don't have the best in health care as you would know if you did research). But we do have the profit motive for producing the most wealth for insurance companies and doctors, and that is the problem.

The state and fed regulations do not impede your choices and raise costs--they constrain your choices by creating an environment in which waste is the worst in the entire world and costs the highest. Americans get less care for their dollar than any people on earth.

What we need is fed and state laws that eliminate for-profit insurance companies. Germans have way more choices than Americans, for example.

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Posted by Halliday came here...
a resident of Meadow Park
on Dec 19, 2009 at 6:07 am

I guess everyone else reading this thread are either brainwashed into believing the Gump-like repetitions of "Europe" or "Germany" etc "better" ...or are already de-programmed and too busy/too intelligent to bother commenting back on such silliness as "Americans get less care for their dollar than any people on earth." ( Would love to see the data on that one...would love to hear that repeated as Reform gets the best cancer care at Medi-Cal..and tries to find the equivalent MediCal treatment level in..Germany or France)!

Good news, I guess! 30% of the people in America have always been on the wrong side of any issue, from the initial Revolution to the Civil War to the Civil Rights Acts ...that will never change.

But, eventually, 70% of us get it right.

I think we are reaching that level again on this issue.

Like this comment
Posted by Sharon
a resident of Midtown
on Jan 19, 2010 at 7:29 pm

From NBC

The Obama care Exodus is Coming

"Almost to a woman/ man, rank and file House Democrats have said tonight they will NOT vote for the Senate bill".Web Link

Like this comment
Posted by Halliday
a resident of Leland Manor/Garland Drive
on Jan 31, 2010 at 6:21 am

Link to Pacific Research Institute and real reform.

Web Link

Health Care delivery reform which actually lowers costs, and increases chosen enrollment numbers.

Can you hear us, now. Dems? The majority of Americans want "something" done to help them with health care costs....but and even higher majority DON'T WANT what you are pushing.

Link to Rasmussen on Americans and what they want.

Web Link

Our Central Planners in DC, the formerly elected Elite Repubs ( now out of power) and the currently in power Elite Dems seem to always think that more central power is what the people want...when will they learn ...NO means NO??

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Posted by Halliday
a resident of Leland Manor/Garland Drive
on Jan 31, 2010 at 6:39 am

On the other hand, the very vast majority of Americans think that economy and terrorism/security are much, much more important issues to deal with over health care options.

ABC News/Wall Street Journal Poll conducted by the polling organizations of Peter Hart (D) and Bill McInturff (R). Jan. 10-14, 2010. N=1,002 adults nationwide. MoE ± 3.1.


"Let me list some issues that have been proposed for the federal government to address. Please tell me which one of these items you think should be the top priority for the federal government. [See below.]" If more than one: "Well, if you had to choose just one, which do you think should be the top priority?"



Job creation and economic growth 38
National security and terrorism 17 17
The deficit and government spending 13
Health care 12
The wars in Iraq and Afghanistan 10
Energy and the cost of gas 4
Social issues such as abortion
and same-sex marriage 3

Maybe our elected officials should focus on doing whatever it takes to get us back our jobs and keep us safe ...perhaps these are more important than a job killing health care take over, or a job killing cap and trade, or a job killing banking industry take over..etc

Congress and White House....can you hear us yet? 30% of the country is guiding your policy emphases, while the rest of us are SCREAMING for your attention!

Like this comment
Posted by But not for Victims of 9/11
a resident of Leland Manor/Garland Drive
on Feb 1, 2010 at 5:36 am

Web Link

In a breathtaking move, the Dems and Obama have turned down federal funds health care for victims and helpers of 9/11 ....

These guys have fallen down the rabbit hole. Where are they?

Odd how they keep pushing what nearly 60% of Americans DON'T want..but don't support what virtually every American WOULD want...

Sorry, but further commenting on this topic has been closed.

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