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Health care reform's complexity leaves many frightened

On reform, move past fears | Aug. 9, editorial

Complexity leaves many frightened

As itemized in this Times editorial, health care reform would be simple. I think that a majority of the people would accept the changes as outlined in your editorial.

Health care insures could not:

• Deny coverage because of existing medical conditions.

• Charge you excessive out-of-pocket fees, cap annual or lifetime coverage.

• Discriminate against women or those with extensive claims.

The government and the insurance companies could work out these problems and health care reform would be done.

But no. Congress had to add its two cents and we end up with more than 1,000 pages of conditions. These conditions are scaring the people.

Seniors are concerned that restrictions could complicate Medicare by denying or restricting health care. Otherwise why did government set up a Health Benefits Committee if it doesn't do anything?

In addition to adding as many as 50 million people to the system, there are conditions for doctors that may reduce their income, causing them to retire. As we lose doctors and add people, waiting time to see a doctor will increase. This has occurred in many countries that have government-run health care.

Melvin J. Myers, Clearwater

On reform, move past fears | Aug. 9, editorial

A concerned public won't go away

The way you and all the other liberals would like it is if everyone who disagrees with them would please just shut up and get in line.

Who do we the people think we are questioning the "anointed one" and his followers? How dare you! Just listen to your betters.

Couple of points. We won't just shut up and go away. We are not all paid for and professional agitators. (For that you need to call on the NAACP, Black Panthers, ACORN, etc.) We are upset, and we think if this is important why not get it right the first time?

What's the rush? Is there something to hide?

The $1 trillion you quote is off by at least another $ 0.6 trillion according to the Congressional Budget Office, but what's $0.6 trillion between friends?

You say this is not socialized medicine, a single-payer system, an attempt to force the elderly to give up care or die sooner, or an option aimed at forcing private insurers out of business.

Maybe not now, but this only the beginning. Once this plan is up and running watch how soon we get "changes" to "improve" the system.

Tom Bennis, Sun City Center

On reform, move past fears | Aug. 9, editorial

The Medicare model

We have a plan in place that covers President Barack Obama's request on health care:

• Insurers should not be permitted to deny coverage because of pre-existing medical conditions.

• Insurers should not be permitted to charge excessive out-of-pocket fees, cap annual or lifetime coverage or discriminate against women or those with excessive claims.

• There should be freedom of choice on doctors, hospitals, labs, and on current insurance coverage.

This plan is called Medicare! It is a working program and most users are happy with the plan. There are some safeguards that need to be put in place (watchdogs), but we need everyone (including government) covered under the same plan.

Perhaps the health care industry dollars being spent on contributions to conservative congressional representatives and never-ending advertisements on TV could be used to help pay for the plan. Do people realize that we are wasting money on health care and that it is a part of our economic crisis?

We need to challenge government and the media to stop confusing people by distorting the facts.

Barbara Fletcher, Largo

Don't lose Advantage

I am very concerned about the likelihood of drastic cuts to the Medicare Advantage program in order to pay for Congress' health care reform plan. Regardless of one's opinion of health care changes, we should not cut successful programs like Medicare Advantage to pay for it.

Florida residents, such as individuals with mental illnesses and seniors, are being asked to foot almost a third of the bill for health care reform through $177 billion in cuts to Medicare Advantage. Most Medicare Advantage subscribers are on fixed incomes, so benefit reductions, increased premiums and higher out-of-pocket expenses will be very burdensome, especially during these uncertain economic times.

Nearly 1 million Floridians chose and now depend on Medicare Advantage because it offers them coverage that is superior to traditional Medicare in several ways, including comprehensive care, wellness services and affordable prescription drugs. Its preventive benefits will help keep costs under control down the line as well. It's truly individualized health care, and I can't imagine why Congress thinks a one-size-fits-all proposal would be a good idea.

Nearly 28 percent of Florida's Medicare beneficiaries choose Medicare Advantage. Congress needs to hear from them about these cuts before it's too late.

Judi Evans, executive director, National Alliance on Mental Illness Florida, Tallahassee

Palin urges civil discussion of plan | Aug. 11

The damage is done

Let me get this straight. On Friday Sarah Palin rouses her rabble by claiming that the president's proposed health care plan is "downright evil" and has a "death panel" that will decide who in America lives and dies.

On Monday she calls for "civil discourse" on that same health care plan and asks her followers not to give proponents "any reason to criticize us." Sorry, Sarah, it's way too late for that.

You might have tried reading the proposal before making up such ridiculous claims.

The more I get to know about Sarah Palin the more hopeful I am that this woman will soon return to the obscurity she so richly deserves.

Sallie Elmore, Largo

Healthy debate starts with courtesy | Aug. 8

We need more respect

I was reading Ernest Hooper's commentary in Saturday's paper, and I just wanted to express how nice it is to know that others besides me realize that this country is sorely lacking respect for each other and we need to come together to fix that problem.

I also enjoy the commentaries by others such as Sue Carlton, Howard Troxler and the humorous Daniel Ruth.

I feel these people have the common sense and ideals that I identify with, and I thank them and the St. Petersburg Times for sharing them. "That's all I'm saying."

Howard Lynch, Largo

Health care reform's complexity leaves many frightened 08/11/09 [Last modified: Tuesday, August 11, 2009 6:46pm]
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