Letters (July 7, 2009)

Let?s hear local ideas for health-care ?fix?

 

In the Partly Nonsense column last week, Joel Klaassen went on about the costly ?fixes? by President Obama and his party. It is logical that what is being fixed is broken, and the breaking mostly occurred during the past eight years when the last president and his party steered the country into the ditch.

Mr. Klaassen is amazed at the cost of proposed health care reform but did not mention the already high numbers of the present cost of health care in the United States.

A good example is the Medi?care Plan B drug plan that was signed into law by President Bush and written by the pharmaceutical industry. This ?sweetheart? deal does not allow Medicare to negotiate volume pricing with drug companies, resulting in patients in the U.S. paying the highest prices in the world for the same drugs.

This is just one example of how outlandish profits are being extracted from the health care system by private enterprise.

President Obama has a large chorus of detractors in congress for his reforms, but there do not seem to be any alternatives offered other than just keeping everything the same.

I would like to hear some comments from our local healthcare providers on this issue. What do they view as the best ?fix? for our local healthcare system?

Both hospitals in Marion County have plans for major construction projects in the near future, so they must have some confidence in revenues being able to pay for the improvements. I worked at St. Luke Hospital for 20 years and recollect that about 80 percent of the revenue came from Medicare. It would be helpful to know if that percentage has changed.

Many of the criticisms leveled at the present proposals for health-care reform take issue with public funding for health care, ignoring the fact that at present Medicare, Medicaid and the Veterans Administration pay more medical bills than private insurance.

Presently my wife and I have to carry private health insurance because it is not provided by our employers. Our policies have very high deductibles and no wellness benefits for preventative tests and procedures and do not include any dental coverage.

For this very limited coverage we pay 12 percent of our pretax income. I would gladly pay the 12 in taxes to a well-run single-payer system that could surely deliver better health coverage than the bare bones policy we have now.

We cannot allow the issue of health care reform to be shelved once again under pressure from the special interests that continue to gain by the broken costly system we have now.

As citizens and health care consumers all of us have an obligation to become informed and to communicate our wishes to our elected representatives.

Harry E. Bennett

Marion

 

Participation in blood drive appreciated

 

Thank you to everyone who participated in the American Red Cross blood drive June 29 in Hillsboro. Twenty-three people came in to share their live-giving blood. We can feel proud we did our civic duty and helped to ensure lifesaving blood is available in hospitals throughout our area.

As a blood donor or volunteer, each of you has helped the Red Cross fulfill its mission of a safe and ample blood supply. Hospital patients rely on us and we delivered.

We want to thank each of you for being a part of this lifesaving experience.

We hope you will look forward to saving more lives at our next drive on Sept. 11. If you would like to help, please call one of us.

Gladys Funk, 947-3517

Shirley Kasper, 947-5719

Blood drive co-chairs

Hillsboro

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