Health-care issue needs perspective

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The major opposition to the health-care bill starts with the premise that we must not do anything that will harm the best health-care system in the world. However, this assumption is just plain wrong.

By all objective measures, our health-care system is not even in the world's top 15. Longevity, infant mortality, prenatal care, wellness care, cost and care for the chronically ill are all measurably worse than for most other industrialized countries.

Much of this cost is because that 15 percent of our population has access to health care only through emergency rooms, which means they don't get wellness care and care for chronic conditions. They also wait longer to get help when they become ill, so their conditions are harder and more expensive to treat -- indeed, sometimes it is too late.

Everyone on all sides of the issue knows that the current health-care system in this country is unsustainable. Its continued uncontrolled growth cost will bankrupt us. The Congregational Budget Office, the nonpartisan agency with the most accurate record of projecting costs of proposed programs in Republican and Democratic administrations, estimates the current bills before Congress have cost-control measures that will reduce the overall cost and reduce the deficit. The only substantive changes the Republicans are pushing are to reduce cost-cutting measures.

The Senate is the major obstacle to passage of health-care reform. However, reason and concern for the average person do not seem to mean anything to our senators from Georgia and South Carolina. The Republicans only concern is to make sure the Obama administration fails so they might retake control. Therefore, the purpose of this letter is simply to counter the raising level of fear and distress that is being stoked by the Republicans, Fox TV and hate radio.

Previously, I called the health-care reform measure the great moral question of our time. If that doesn't move you, remember: Most of you reading this are only one downsizing away from having no health insurance.

Andy Reese

Augusta

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Riverman1
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Riverman1 01/26/10 - 05:25 am
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Examine the proposal by

Examine the proposal by Republican Congressman Paul Ryan. Every effort by Republicans to implement tort reform has been blocked by the Democrats.

MarshCroaked
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MarshCroaked 01/26/10 - 06:32 am
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RM1, I couldn't even begin to

RM1, I couldn't even begin to address all of the falsehoods in this boilerplate mantra-mouthing piece of dribble. Mr Reese must be looking at a different www.cbo.gov site than I have been.

johnston.cliff
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johnston.cliff 01/26/10 - 06:51 am
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Andy, Andy, please. The

Andy, Andy, please. The foundation for your "letter of assumptions" is so off base there's no reasonable way to respond. Apparently your lack of knowledge makes you easy to trick. My sympathies. I'm guessing you're a fine and loyal Dem.

carcraft
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carcraft 01/26/10 - 06:51 am
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Many of the issues cited have

Many of the issues cited have nothing to do with health care and much to do with life style choices, teen gang murders and early drug deaths bring down our life expectancy, remove that factor and we live as long as other countries. Any child born alive in America is considered a live birth, in other countries children born with birth defects incompatible with life are not classified as live births and in some countries children have to live several days to be called a live birth. In terms of cancer survival, early detection and treatment America is number one...

Dixieman
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Dixieman 01/26/10 - 07:24 am
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Mr. Reese, you have lost the

Mr. Reese, you have lost the plot. Why do people flock here from other countries for medical care if our system is so bad? That is the only evidence you need.

southernguy08
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southernguy08 01/26/10 - 07:29 am
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Andy, I'll ask you like I ask
Unpublished

Andy, I'll ask you like I ask every liberal spouting how we need government run healthcare. Please show me one government run program that runs efficiently and isn't going broke. SS, Medicare, FDIC are just a few. Let insurance companies sell across state lines and increase competition is the answer to lowering costs, NOT ANOTHER GOVERNMENT RUN PROGRAM!

seenitB4
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seenitB4 01/26/10 - 08:56 am
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Say what you want to about

Say what you want to about this letter,,, but he is right,, some folks are just a heartbeat away from losing their healthcare..if the Reps. don't get health reform right,, they too will be on the chopping block..it's beginning to look like we will have a turnover in congress this year..on BOTH sides. It will be about jobs more than anything else.

grouse
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grouse 01/26/10 - 08:57 am
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Right on, Andy!
Unpublished

Right on, Andy!

justthefacts
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justthefacts 01/26/10 - 09:15 am
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It's a shame the Democrats

It's a shame the Democrats tried to use their advantage in Congress to try to take over healthcare and create another mess like Medicare/SS. Perhaps, if they had just addressed the issue of the uninsured, something could have been done. Maybe next time.

justthefacts
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justthefacts 01/26/10 - 09:57 am
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Rhetor, how about if you had

Rhetor, how about if you had taken all the money you put into Medicare/SS and saved it in private institution like, hopefully, you have been doing with your IRA or 401K? And your definition of gov't run healthcare must be different than mine. When the gov't is telling the insurance companies what they must d0, when the gov't is telling people they are required to buy something, and when the gov't is deciding who gets what healthcare, I call it gov't run. And can you tell me how Tort reform will not bring down costs?

convertedsoutherner
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convertedsoutherner 01/26/10 - 10:04 am
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Why didn't the dims address

Why didn't the dims address the issue of jobs first? To keep more of the lib followers and others un-employed, made the lib leaders think they would be able to ram their horrible (so-called) healthcare bill through only because there would be such a large number of un-employed without insurance. There are none so blind as those who refuse to see.

seenitB4
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seenitB4 01/26/10 - 10:21 am
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Convert that is the very

Convert that is the very reason they are losing votes now,,, they didn't put jobs first. The csra hasn't been hit as hard as some of the nation,(job loss) I guess Ft.Gordon & SRP has kept Aug. going strong.& Plant Vogle.

southernguy08
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southernguy08 01/26/10 - 10:24 am
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If Obama and the Dims
Unpublished

If Obama and the Dims controlling congress would lower the corporate tax rate and give industry an incentive, we'd see a HUGE pick up in the economy, and they'd all be re-elected easily. Since this goes against their Marxist beliefs, guess what will happen to the economy, and they're re-election bids. Come on November.

convertedsoutherner
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convertedsoutherner 01/26/10 - 10:29 am
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And now prezbho says he's

And now prezbho says he's going to cut spending to special areas. Of course those cut will still get what has already been alloted to them. But what about those other departments that aren't being cut that continue (also increase) their spending. Everytime prezbho opens his mouth, you know there's going to be increase in spending someplace. All the while the blind and gullible dims will think he's doing something good for them. This experiment can't end soon enough.

constitutionnow
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constitutionnow 01/26/10 - 11:35 am
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Hey Andy, it's not the Senate

Hey Andy, it's not the Senate that is blocking this bad legislation, it's the majority of the voting public. Adjust the tunnel you're looking through!

Scratch
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Scratch 01/26/10 - 12:08 pm
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It's hard to decide which

It's hard to decide which inaccuracy to address first. CarCraft cites very well Andy's statistical errors. I spent 6 years in American hospitals in Europe, interacting with indigenous hospitals, and I can guarantee Andy that American healthcare far exceeds anything available to Europeans. As for "controlled growth," the total cost of health services is due primarily to increased utilization, not cost of insurance or even cost of procedures in many cases. As a culture, we seek health services for things our parents and grandparents would never have thought of. Even Andy admits that the 15% without insurance seek care from ER's. The 85% with insurance, I can assure him, use that insurance to the hilt. That is the primary reason for increase in cost.

convertedsoutherner
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convertedsoutherner 01/26/10 - 12:58 pm
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How about those 25MILLION

How about those 25MILLION that they say wouldn't have been insured under the prezbho healthcare plan? If the plan wouldn't insure EVERYONE, why were they pushing this plan so hard? Why would we pay premiums for 3-4 years before the plan would even take effect? Why would some states be exempt, along with those union members that would be exempt? Why would it take 2000+ pages to get a healthcare plan? Way too many question and - no answers.

Ayetidiosi
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Ayetidiosi 01/26/10 - 01:36 pm
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I have a health care reform

I have a health care reform plan that will cost ZERO: excessive taxes on foods that lead to obesity. With 2/3rds of Americans overweight, reducing the FAT on the avg american will reduce health care expenses dramatically, reduce dependence on FAT issue treatments, and save countless billions in preventable medical procedures and treatments. Before the US Gove starts forcing anyone to BUY health insurance, let them force all you FATTIES to get slim. Fat people have NO excuses. Get slim, or get off the planet. You cost far more than your fat self is worth.

Scratch
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Scratch 01/26/10 - 01:56 pm
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The fact that health is very

The fact that health is very dependent on individual choices is one reason why healthcare service is not a right and must be treated as a commodity. Certainly we are susceptible to genetics, but our choices are far more important. The gov't has no more right to tax fatty foods than to force citizens to buy insurance or anything else. Gov't has proven time and again that it cannot effectively (let alone efficiently) distinguish those who cannot (e.g. work, avoid obesity, etc.) from those who won't. Socialistic ideologues deny the fact that people will act in their own interests, even if those interests are potentially destructive. The rest of the responsible citizenry shouldn't have to pay for the irresponsible.

TrukinRanger
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TrukinRanger 01/26/10 - 02:07 pm
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Hey Andy... good letter, but
Unpublished

Hey Andy... good letter, but these people don't have the brain capacity to understand the problem. Healthcare & Jobs ARE related.. I don't believe any "compromised" healthcare fixes by our leaders will be in our best interest. Every aspect of healthchare needs to be gone through with a fine toothed comb. Our inability to get drugs at reasonable prices, gouging on things like x-rays/MRI's/surgeries, overpaying some doctors, and crazy lawsuits are all factors that need to be looked at.

RichmondCountyResident1
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RichmondCountyResident1 01/26/10 - 03:13 pm
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Well stated Andy. I recently

Well stated Andy. I recently saw my healthcare premiums rise for the tenth year in a row. These folks can read the writing in the bill, then twist it's true meaning for political purposes. You're right, their only goal is to hopefully regain political control. It's time the Democrats wake up or we'll be on that same path of tax cuts for the rich and more corporate welfare at the expense of us all. No infastructure work , further cuts to our schools and militant adventurism as the expense of our servicemen. Let's not forget how we got into this mess.

convertedsoutherner
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convertedsoutherner 01/26/10 - 03:45 pm
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Even some of the liberal

Even some of the liberal media are coming out against prezbho. One rabid liberal has written an article "Who is barack obama?" Why didn't the liberal media raise the questions, they are now, while he was running for office?

TheFederalist
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TheFederalist 01/26/10 - 03:46 pm
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Gee Trukin, what you propose

Gee Trukin, what you propose is EXACTLY what the republicans have been yelling about since the beginning. THe dems had to votes, so they were told to sit down and shut up. Guess you don't have the brain capacity to understand the problem eh? They also proposed competition across state lines, which would encourage the very things you list, and drive the cost down considerably. They also will never vote for any health care legislation that does NOT include Tort Reform, a longstanding major issue only voiced by the republicans. That alone would address most of your issues. Yes, Healthcare & Jobs ARE related..the ONLY thing you got right brainiac. OH..and Andy...your leftist, progressive lenses need to be removed so you can see what most of the US already knows. More government is BAD, andy. Someday, maybe you and your liberal gang will see that, but I doubt it. To do that, you would have to stop listening to Lamestream media and actually listen to the OTHER side for a change. Nope..not gonna happen. Rotfl

TheFederalist
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TheFederalist 01/26/10 - 05:04 pm
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RCR!!? Well stated? You have

RCR!!? Well stated? You have no idea what's in the bill, any more that I do, or our congressmen do, because they now have 2 versions of a soley DEMOCRAT bill, and the only twisting being done is by the two differing factions of that party. All the republicans are doing is stating the obvious. What about all the actual cost saving and reform measures that will actually do us all some good? Oh..so the Dems have absolutely no interest in getting re-elected, right? Laughable. Yes, RCR, lets NOT forget how we got into this mess...MORE GOVERNMENT! They are the ones that have regulated our health care system into the monstrosity it is today. Just like the Banks, and Medicare, and SSI, and Welfare, and, on, and on, and on.........
Horesefeathers RCR! More of your progressive liberal bilge.

Irish
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Irish 01/26/10 - 07:11 pm
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The O'bama administration is

The O'bama administration is planning on nationalizing our 401's . When Bush suggested allowing us to invest in our own retirement he was met with staunch opposition. Apparently the same mentality exist when it comes to health care. The same people who want the govt. to handle their retiremnent think the govt should handle their health care. As long as we have those who are willing to just hand over their lives to the govt. for a monthly income we will never move forward on any debate....

corgimom
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corgimom 01/26/10 - 09:22 pm
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Obama is focusing on health

Obama is focusing on health care to distract people from the terrible economic mess that we are in. And it's worked well, so far. Health care is meaningless if there's nobody to pay for it.

corgimom
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corgimom 01/26/10 - 09:25 pm
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Why are unions exempt from

Why are unions exempt from health care plans? Because they are under legally binding contracts as to what benefits they provide to workers. And, of course, if unions offer better health plans than the national plan, people will want to join unions. It's not the working people that need insurance- by and large, they are pretty healthy, you can't work if you're sick.

Scratch
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Scratch 01/27/10 - 12:49 pm
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A couple of posters have

A couple of posters have stated that jobs and healthcare are related. The only reason to say that is because employers offer health insurance as a benefit. Research the history. This has been true only since FDR froze wages during WWII. There is no real obligation for an employer to do so. In fact, if I were Emperor, I'd eliminate employer-based health insurance (thereby permitting employer's to increase employee's wages), eliminate mandates on health plans (like family planning, substance abuse, mental health) to stimulate competition and allow individuals to tailor their own coverage, initiate fee-for-service for routine (outpatient) health services, and incentivize individuals to use health savings accounts. All this would lower costs (because there would be much less paid for insurance) and encourage healthy behaviors.

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