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It's time for a reasoned debate on health care

Health care facts, fiction, fantasies | Aug. 16

Time for reasoned debate

Thank you for a well laid out article defining the health care reform debate. It was good to be able to sort through the rhetoric and scare tactics.

Being an insurance agent, I've been on the fence about this issue for the last year. Most people I talk to have no clue about their health insurance. I'm armed with all kinds of information and I only get one question. What's the difference in deductibles? Over the years many provisions have been changed or eliminated. Caps, exclusions and limitations clauses have lengthened every few years.

Most people that I talk to don't realize they or their children are one illness or job change away from being rated or excluded from health care coverage. I actually talk to people who cover themselves, and their children are on Medicaid. We, as taxpayers, fund this program.

I feel with the cost of health care insurance rising between 7 and 10 percent yearly, that the present fee for service health care system will be too costly for our children. Medicare and Medicaid will eventually bankrupt the system

It is time for "reasoned" debate, without scare tactics, about health care. I now feel some form of public option must be looked into. Competition will make the health insurance industry become more cost-conscious and reasonably priced. My only fear is that with the massive amount of money available to the health care and prescription drug lobbies, that the present scare tactics will persist and drown out the real debate.

Duane Begines, Spring Hill

Debate kills doctor-patient relationship Aug. 20, story

Doctor owes an apology

I read Shary Marshall's article about the disagreement between Michael Moss, a chiropractor in Spring Hill, and one of his patients who had been with him for five years, Jim Heltsley. The disagreement was over copies of an e-mail the doctor placed in his office regarding the health care bill.

This e-mail has been circulating on the Internet for weeks. It is full of misinformation, according to and other fact-finding sites.

Dr. Moss, read it, agreed with it and didn't check it out to see if the e-mail was factual. He decided to endorse it by making copies of it and putting the copies in his office for his patients to read, hoping to influence their decision about the health care plan

Jim Heltsley, who has researched this e-mail, felt there were falsehoods and misrepresentations in it. He had a discussion with the doctor about it. Dr. Moss acknowledged he "lost it" and asked Heltsley to leave and then dismissed Heltsley as a patient.

It appears Dr. Moss' ego got involved along with his lack of judgment and respect for his patients. It is unethical for Dr. Moss to use his doctor-patient relationship to influence patients' political opinions. He owes all of his patients an apology, especially Jim Heltsley.

Patty Jay, New Port Richey

A right to speak out

Your article about Jim Heltsley and Dr. Michael Moss seemed very one-sided to me. I guess I know where the St. Petersburg Times stands on this subject of health care.

Dr. Moss has a right, just as everyone else does, to voice his opinion. You also stated he released his patient from care with a formal letter and referrals. That was the proper and ethical thing to do, which no one seemed to point out.

Marie Dahmer, Brooksville

Debate kills doctor-patient relationship Aug. 20, story

A flawed source

Although I read the entire article, I only needed to read one part to understand the problem. Quoting Dr. Michael Moss: "I was like a mad scientist until 2 o'clock in the morning, watching this stuff on Fox News." Watching Fox News from 5 p.m. until 2 a.m. you will see shows like The O'Reilly Factor, Hannity, On the Record with Greta Van Susteren, and Glenn Beck. The vast majority of information conveyed on those shows is far-right-wing opinion repeated over and over, with little actual news.

Having any single source as your primary method of getting information generally means you don't form an opinion, it means it is given to you.

Dr. Moss would not have been able to fire me as a patient. I would have fired him as soon as I found out that he was a medical professional displaying the unfortunately common combination of strong opinions and a lack of factual knowledge.

Brad Hodge, Terra Ceia

First manage Medicare

Let's admit up front that we already have one form of socialized medicine: Medicare. Now we are in the midst of a large argument about whether we should expand and alter our health care system.

Today, Medicare is going broke, some predict in just a few years. This financial handwriting has been on the wall for many years, yet no Congress or any administration has made any inroads into even slowing down the rate at which it is spiraling into insolvency. So here's a suggestion for our national elected officials:

Show us that you can manage Medicare. Let us see how you will cut costs or increase funding. Only after accomplishing this (and not before) should we even consider allowing you to add more complex socialized health care to a system that you have not demonstrated you can effectively manage.

Tom Booker, Oldsmar

Misunderstanding history

I am deeply saddened and troubled by the inaccurate and offensive comparison of health care reform and Nazism. As a docent at the Florida Holocaust Museum, I am well aware of the true horrors of Nazism and the genocide perpetrated by the Third Reich. The simple fact that so many Americans are erroneously comparing Nazi policies to health reform indicates that Americans are either very ignorant or very misguided.

Invoking Hitler's name has a visceral response to most people with good reason — his reign of terror, with its legacy of murder, hate and intolerance, is the yardstick with which we measure true evil. When we use his name and what he stood for casually and with the intent to frighten, we lose sight of the real issues on which we may civilly disagree.

The health care system in this country is broken. People can disagree about change and even acknowledge that change is frightening without confusing health care reform with mass murder.

Judith A. Sachs, Tampa

V is for voracious and Dresden renaissance Aug. 16

Such human diversity

The St. Petersburg Times is certainly to be congratulated! In one issue it presents the astonishing diversity of life on this planet. In eloquent prose and with elegant photography, it takes us up to the heights of human creativity and then down to the amazing depths of astonishing insanity.

The glory of Dresden's art — fragile porcelain and awe-inspiring architecture — is equaled only by the fact of its being home to some of the finest music and composers in the world. Just reading about it makes one happy to be human!

When it comes to vampires touting the wonders of sucking human blood and affirming the ecstasy of so doing, we turn away in disgust. We realize just how closely we are, after all, allied with all animals.

Civilization does not come easily to humanity!

Abigail Ann Martin, Brandon

If not me, who? If not now, when? | Aug. 20, Howard Troxler column

A winning attitude

Howard Troxler is the first thing I read in the Times. Imagine what this country would be like if all politicians were obligation-free and had this attitude! Howard Troxler for the Senate … and then for president.

Schuyler P. (Pete) Brown, St. Petersburg

It's time for a reasoned debate on health care 08/23/09 [Last modified: Sunday, August 23, 2009 4:30am]
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