Work toward single-payer health plan

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I have some questions for The Augusta Chronicle staff and its readers: Is it OK for government to assure the safety of our food and our medicines? Is it OK for government to prevent monopolies of things we need to buy? Is it OK for the government to regulate banks? Is it OK for the government to run our primary schools?

All of these are accepted, but I do not see that makes us socialists.

Regarding health care, the federal government already manages a third of the money spent on health care, via Medicare, Medicaid and the VA. One might say that we are well on the road to government-run health care for all. One-third is fine, but 100 percent is intolerable? I can understand our "representatives" in Washington, D.C., arguing against that idea, because they are in the pay of the insurers whose very existence depends on it. But why are you and so many of us citizens opposed?

Maximizing cost savings in health care is needed, but is just not possible without ridding ourselves of the existing dominating profit motive. Getting all enrolled also is needed, but is impossible without the federal government being in charge. Without solving these two problems, we are wasting our time.

This year, we should limit our goals, but include a public plan patterned generally on Medicare. If the public goes for it as expected, we will be on the path to achieve in several years a single-payer system, run by the feds, just as all other developed countries have. Worrying about the costs this year makes no sense. We'll save big when we get there.

If Medicare is any guide, we'll love it. If you doubt that, ask someone you know who's older than 64 how they feel about their Medicare.

Victor Reilly, Aiken, S.C.

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Tigger_The_Tiger
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Tigger_The_Tiger 06/23/09 - 04:44 am
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Wow.....someone who actually

Wow.....someone who actually believes that the Government can run something more efficiently. I'm not sure if it's arrogance or ignorance. Mr Reilly, your idea has failed every single time it has been tried. What makes you think it will work this time?

carcraft
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carcraft 06/23/09 - 05:28 am
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Mr. Reilly, who decides what

Mr. Reilly, who decides what medical research gets done? Who decides the "best" treatment to pay for? Examine prostate cancer if you will.. There are about 5 treatment options, surgery, radiation (two types, external beam and seed), cryo, and doing nothing. There are proponents of all thiese types of treatment in the urology community. Each treatment has side effects that are differant. Do I want some bureaucrat in Washington DC telling me "you will have radiation, I know you may get colon cancer later, have to hit the toilet the moment you get the urge to defacate, but radiation is as effective as surgery" The delays and rationing of health care in England cause decrease in cancer survival rates. There is only one chemotherpay option for breast cancer in England decided on by bureaucrats. Is this what you want Mr. Reilly?

Tujeez1
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Tujeez1 06/23/09 - 05:42 am
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Yes Mr.Reilly, it would seem

Yes Mr.Reilly, it would seem that our government has an excellent track record when it endeavors to "run things". Why just last year, the housing industry and quite nearly the whole world's economy collapsed as a result of the Democrats effort to insure that "everyone" (no matter wether they could afford it or not) recieved mortgage financing. Their irresponsiveness to calls(by Republicans) to "fix" that problem has rendered us unto the place we find ourselves now, an Economic Depression. Our government has a designed purpose, to serve the people, but too many in government believe that their election to office gives them the right to stretch that designed purpose into something entirely different....Servicing the people. I believe the Insurance Industry, on behalf of the "non-payors" is "servicing" us sufficiently at this time. If the government wants to cap profits and tax the insurance industry to pay for the care of the slothful and shore up the care of the indigent, they can do that without fully "taking over" health care.

pointstoponder
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pointstoponder 06/23/09 - 06:28 am
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I don't think safety of our

I don't think safety of our food was the best choice of things the government does well. The federal government is no better at running things than the local Commission. Why would you want them in charge of your health care? They are a significant source of the problem.

afadel
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afadel 06/23/09 - 06:41 am
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Well-written, Mr. Reilly.

Well-written, Mr. Reilly. Re:carcraft 5:28 AM-Currently, insurance company bureaucrats decide. Why would a federal govt employee be any worse? Moreover, if you want to pay out of pocket for an alternate treatment, you're welcome to do so. Even if the UK has a lower cancer survival rate than the U.S., the UK's overall mortality is lower and it spends much less. @Tujeez 5:42 AM-Are you claiming that everybody who can't afford health insurance is "slothful?" Do you believe that everyone who does have health insurance receives quality care and continued coverage after the onset of illness? Does it concern you that premiums increase 10-20% annually? In other words, the current way we're doing things is not working. We should consider more alternatives.

ldsmith1
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ldsmith1 06/23/09 - 06:43 am
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Glad to see some common sense

Glad to see some common sense comments on this! Mr Reilly needs to do some research and talke to a few folks who have sought treatment under socialized medicine and see what they say. It is a nightmare.

LadyCisback
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LadyCisback 06/23/09 - 06:47 am
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Anyone answer about

Anyone answer about Medicare... I just wish the money that's taken away from my oaycheck can be actually used for something for my family and myself not to pay for medicare I am never going to take advantage of and a social security check that will never reach my hands by the time I am an old hag... I used to work for Medicare and I can tell you it's a rip off!!.. But I want to hear from someone that actually has it!!..

patriciathomas
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patriciathomas 06/23/09 - 06:48 am
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Victor, it's alright to use

Victor, it's alright to use the history of the government's efforts to make you decisions with. However, we should look at what they seem to be able to do and what they seem to NOT be able to do. A look at "war on drugs" is a good example of what they can't do. The space program is a good example of what they can do. Protect our southern border = won't do. Drive manufacturing facilities from the country with exorbitant tax rates = will do. Efficiently manage health care for the nation = oh my God! History shows that health care costs sky rocketed when government "got involved". No thank you.

TechLover
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TechLover 06/23/09 - 07:01 am
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car:Where do you get the info

car:Where do you get the info on only one chemo option in England? Read articles from their medical journals and there are numerous ones listed. England does have a lower cancer survival rate than the US and the US leads the world in 5 year survival rates for breast and prostate cancer. For coloretal cancer, however, Japan had the highest survival rate for men and France for women both of which have a national healthcare system. Overall, the UK ranks 37th in the world for life expectancy, the US 45th.

patriciathomas
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patriciathomas 06/23/09 - 07:14 am
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As long as America has a HUGE

As long as America has a HUGE subsidy population, we'll rank low in life expectancy.

captainscott
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captainscott 06/23/09 - 07:24 am
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I wonder if Victor would be

I wonder if Victor would be so gung-ho on a government run healthcare system if he were in Britain, where an obese person ( by govt guidelines) can be denied bypass surgery, where a smoker is denied lung cancer treatment? You say, " Well, those are lifestyle choices. They chose to be fat or smoke, knowing that put them at risk." Ok---former surgeon general C Everett Koop, who is now 90, had a stroke, and as a result, was partially paralized when he was 70. Through treatments, he is now fine. In Britain, he would have been categorically denied any treatment, because he was over the age of 65. How easy it is to sit back and make shallow judgments when you're not the one in need of the healthcare. Ten minutes of research on the Net will verify anything I've said. I'll be the first to admit that our healthcare system needs work, but having the government run it is not the answer. Victor, your examples are pitiful. Yes, the govt controls many things, but they should never be in charge of anything that involves control of money. Money equals power, and I defy you to give me ONE example of anything the govt runs efficiently regarding the control of funds.

Tujeez1
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Tujeez1 06/23/09 - 07:27 am
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alfadel....You do have a

alfadel....You do have a valid point, I should have said, greedy, self-involved, entitlement minded and slothful.....We have here on these threads, a person claiming to make $70,000.00 per year in income, who claims to pay $350.00 per month in health insurance premiums, who will justify Obama's health care take over, as long as he gets a reduction in his rates. Of course this grubber is Liberal and a vehement and venomous supporter of "O the president!"

TechLover
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TechLover 06/23/09 - 07:31 am
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P: Full of it as usual I see.

P: Full of it as usual I see. Strange how all the countries in the world spend less per capita on health than the US, most with universal health care and have better results. As far as your other bull:"Drive manufacturing facilities from the country with exorbitant tax ratesDrive manufacturing facilities from the country with exorbitant tax rates"-I'm sure third world salaries had nothing to do with it. chinanewswrap-About 1/4 of China's college graduates earn less than $439 US dollars a month.

pontesisto
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pontesisto 06/23/09 - 07:31 am
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If you would like to help

If you would like to help pressure Congress to pass single payer health care please join our voting bloc at:
http://www.votingbloc.org/Health_Bloc.php

justthefacts
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justthefacts 06/23/09 - 07:42 am
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What a funny letter Victor.

What a funny letter Victor. The gov't has butchered every eample you gave and then your conclusion is to let them run healthcare. Thanks for the laugh.

patriciathomas
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patriciathomas 06/23/09 - 07:47 am
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TechLover, the Chinese also

TechLover, the Chinese also have smaller feet. I guess you're right. How could I not have included all of those relevant facts?

Tujeez1
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Tujeez1 06/23/09 - 07:52 am
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alfadel...Yes, the system is

alfadel...Yes, the system is failing, due to the mandates set by government bureaucrats and the demanding profiteers in control of the industry. The system suffers most from the care of the non-payor. It is the industry mandated by government to provide care to everyone that has caused it to fail. Yet, the liberal minded believe that the government can run it more efficiently while doing the same. How will the system function properly with a 50% increase in overhead, which will be required to fund the government instilled bureacracy???? The answer is clear....more taxes. If the government wants to "fix" the system, then let the government FULLY fund non-payor and indigent care. Let them that will not pay suffer the harm that oversight will bring to bare. We who make sacrifices in our lives to pay for insurance should not have to suffer lesser care for those who cannot or will not pay. It all boils down to personal responsibility, but the liberals know that, to well, already.

TechLover
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TechLover 06/23/09 - 07:57 am
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PT: You already proven you

PT: You already proven you are a narrow minded, sarcastic, idiot. You don't have to keep trying to prove it over and over.

Tujeez1
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Tujeez1 06/23/09 - 08:00 am
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When one gets tired of being

When one gets tired of being responsible, where does one go to sign up for the free ride? Why can't we ALL ride for free? Gimme, gimme, gimme.....say it with me, Gimme, gimme, gimme...don't it make you feel GOOD!

justthefacts
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justthefacts 06/23/09 - 08:01 am
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If the gov't HAS to get

If the gov't HAS to get involved, then let it mandate Health insurance the same way as it does liability car insurance. People would then have to choose between cell phones, Plasma TVs, and other non essential luxuries.

Lobosolo
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Lobosolo 06/23/09 - 08:06 am
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Thanks for putting out that

Thanks for putting out that info, Pontesisto, but do you think for a minute that the enlightened ones that live on these pages would for one moment do any personal research on the issue? Just look at how bizarre their spokesman Pettythomas has become. That's what listening to Rush and Sean and drooling over Palin will do for you. Pity the poor fools, they are being steamrolled into oblivion everyday and yet throw up the same stale rhetoric that buried what was left of their party. If they could look past their own backyard they could see what is really going on in the country. Good thing they've got the AC to provide them a spot to screech on. Poor old PT must be needin' two rings to sit on these days.

Grasshopper
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Grasshopper 06/23/09 - 08:07 am
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The companies that are

The companies that are regulated by the FDA are more afraid of lawsuits than being fined by the FDA.The US Social Security and medicare/Medicaid is already doomed. How is the United States going to pay for socialized health care? If someone can answer that question legitimately then I will vote for Obama in 2012. We are not Europeans we are Americans, and our private sector always out performs our government sector. One fine example, compare private school kids to public school kids.

TechLover
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TechLover 06/23/09 - 08:09 am
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Tuj: You gripe about the

Tuj: You gripe about the system having to cover the "non payor" then gripe about fixing the system so everyone is a "payor". Another "I got mine, scr*w everyone else" whine of the righties. At least this admin has negotiated for reduced drug prices for Medicare instead of let's just pay full price and hand more tax money over to the drug companies.

disssman
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disssman 06/23/09 - 08:15 am
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Victor you forgot that the

Victor you forgot that the government runs our homeland security, our military our interstate highway system, our airports, our intercostal waterways, etc, etc, etc. What the Federal government dosen't run or regulate is the medical field, and neither do the States. Who sets the prices that doctors are allowed to charge and who regulates how many doctors will be trained each year? It isn't the Government. Is the AMA set up for patients or to protect the careers of doctors and isn't it really a union in disguise? Think about it.

patriciathomas
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patriciathomas 06/23/09 - 08:16 am
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Threatening to take over the

Threatening to take over the pharmaceutical industry is a dang effective negotiation ploy. Why didn't Bush think of that?

justthefacts
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justthefacts 06/23/09 - 08:18 am
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Typical, 22 coments. 20 with

Typical, 22 coments. 20 with comments on the article and 2 with no purpose other to call commentors names.

Niko Mahs
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Niko Mahs 06/23/09 - 08:21 am
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He did think of it then W

He did think of it then W passed one of the worst pharmaceutical plans ever envisioned by anyone. He couldn't even make the Texas Rangers a winner. He basically lost at everything he did. Maybe he should have taken more walks on the trail (like Sanford). Well he did clear a lot of brush in Texas so there is a legacy for you!

Tujeez1
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Tujeez1 06/23/09 - 08:22 am
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Techie...Let's TAX you and

Techie...Let's TAX you and your entitlement crowd that make far more than I do at 50% income taxes to pay for all of the rest of us. I don't have a cell phone, I don't have 25 pairs of $150.00 tennis shoes and a new outfit every week. I work for mine a-hole, and I live within my means. Go blow your liberal smoke up someone elses a-hole, a-hole.....I have a sign on mine, it says,"EXIT ONLY"....so pucker up for someone else!

southernguy08
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southernguy08 06/23/09 - 08:26 am
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Mr. Reilly, do you really
Unpublished

Mr. Reilly, do you really want our government in charge of healthcare? This is the same government that is trillions of dollars in debt, can't secure our borders, and has a pathetic history of running programs in the red. I've lived in many countries with "universal" healthcare. I wouldn't want what those people go through on my worst enemy. As long as you want government to take care of your healthcare, why don't you demand what our members of congress have...any kind of care, anytime, for as much as it takes. When congress agrees to this, send me a card from Fantasyworld!

convertedsoutherner
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convertedsoutherner 06/23/09 - 08:26 am
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When libs don't like the

When libs don't like the message their typical response is to attack and call the messenger names. We, as a country, have the FATTEST people and those continue to be a big drain on the health system. When do those take responsibility for their own lives and stop expecting others to help pay for their care and ailments?

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