Letters to the Editor

Problems seen with health care reform

Disappointment has been my experience as I noticed that only two people have shared their views of the proposed changes in health care. Surely there are more people on the Plateau with ideas about this issue. I read the letters last week with sympathy for the problems that people encounter under the current health care laws. These are certainly crisis situations for these folks and something needs to happen to help them.

But, there's that word – the government-planned health care changes are more broadly based than this one issue. That is one of the problems that I have with the proposed health care changes. They want to mandate end-of-life discussions by reimbursing doctors for the time they take to talk to their patients; they are questioning the suitability of treatments for people who are dying of cancer (although no one really knows how long it will take an individual to die and what quality of life they may enjoy while they are at it.) They want a one-piece-fits-all, single-payer, with no regard to the fact that many of us have different requirements and needs. Of course, Congress and the president aren't going to be bound to the same type of care that most of us are.

Other problems also include that the proposed health legislation is unconstitutional. Only a twisted definition of the commerce clause can allow the federal government to claim the right to mandate to the states what health care "should" be. The framers of the Constitution clearly left most issues of daily life to individual states to be sorted according to the needs of the people in each state.

Another problem that I have with the proposed legislation is that its cost is unreal. The Congressional Budget Office has released projected costs that are completely unrealistic for the taxpayers to bear. And rest assured it has to be paid for.

Lastly, there is no tort reform, no mediation requirements and no provisions to increase the number of doctors (who are already too few) to provide the services for the number of people required.

Also the many countries who have this type of governmental health care have difficulties providing quality care and finding adequaate funding for the program. No one has answered my question as to how we think we can do this type of a program differently. It might be wise to make some small effort, one state at a time to see how the plan will really work. (It hasn't worked in Massachusetts, for all of Governor Romney's belief in it.)

Finally the month of August has been a difficult one for our politicians. Those supporting the president's proposals have faced opposition when holding Town Hall meetings. Not wanting to hear opposition some have chosen not to hold Town Hall meetings, or only see a "select" few who would support the proposed changes. In spite of what some people may think, one of our most cherished rights is that of free speech. The give and take of IDEAS is the way America has settled differences of opinion for nearly two hundred years. Currently we have a politicized situation where the major parties are at war with each other, without regard for what is possible, much less best, for the people. Our politicians seem to have forgotten that they are OUR representatives and their job is to represent us.

Obama was right when he said America needs a change. I am still looking for it. Representation. Transparency. Accountability. Responsibility. Qualities of leadership that are missing today.

Anyone else out there who agrees with me or disagrees?

Judith Millward

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