E-mail letters, April 1, 2010

Obama care makes it tough
for U.S. to muddle along

I have the highest regard for Denny Herzog and his columns. His March 30 one, however, gives me a bit of a pause. His admiration for a seminar-mate’s observation that no matter what, the country would always “muddle along” does bother me.

And so we have, “muddled along,” through the enactment of Social Security and Medicare. Now we have Obamacare to “muddle along” with forever, possibly.
Apparently this “jobs bill” will employ untold thousands for additional government employees, including an alleged 16,000 IRS agents to track scofflaws who fail to purchase insurance.

History, though, seems to have taught us nothing.

While the sky has not fallen, totally, the two government programs mentioned above have “skies” that are sagging badly.

Government never had a “lock box” for Social Security that was actually locked.

Cuts in Medicare, to be used to help pay down the debt, will certainly cause a stoppage in accepting those patients, if not the closing of some doctors’ offices.
Are we now to believe our president, the House and Senate that all is hunky dory and beautiful? None of the three has been truthful about any government program in the past 65 to 70 years. Why now?

Letter writer Don Boyle has it right in his letter published March 30. All the “smart and engaged” young people are facing one heck of a “muddle.”
Creighton Bricker
Grand Junction

Salazar did the right thing
regarding health reform

I applaud Rep. John Salazar for having the courage to vote in favor of the recent health reform legislation. Legislators were bombarded by lobbyists fighting for the insurance and pharmaceutical industries spending millions of dollars which came from your pocket. Swamped with misinformation disseminated by the media and on the Web Salazar used common sense. He thoughtfully read the bill and determined whether it was a reasonable step toward better health care for his constituency. John Salazar waited until a bipartisan commission evaluated its economic impact before made a final decision.

Atul Gawande, in an article in the New Yorker aptly stated, “The most interesting, under-discussed, and potentially revolutionary aspect of the law is that it doesn’t pretend to have the answers. Instead, through a new Center for Medicare and Medicaid Innovation, it offers to free communities and local health systems from existing payment rules, and let them experiment with ways to deliver better care at lower costs. Far from being a government takeover, it counts on local communities and clinicians for success. We are the ones who determine whether costs are controlled and health care improves. Which is to say, whether reform survives and resistance is defeated.”

The health care bill has passed. Throughout this health care debate, Grand Junction has been held nationwide as an example of what a community can do to bring better care to its people. Now that we have been given more tools to work with, let’s continue to set a good example. Thank you, John Salazar, for your vote.
Paula Struckman
Grand Junction

Grant and other liberals
shake society’s roots
I don’t know how much John Salazar, the Democratic Party, the far-leaning left and the president are paying Bill Grant to write such garbage as his March 31 column.

I can thank him for waking up the majority of the people who will vote out those who are spending my grandchildren’s money.

We, as a people, do have Grant and his liberal cronies in our political crosshairs. He and those other (free thinkers) have shaken the very roots of our society.
Benny Lenard
Grand Junction

Salazar’s vote will
prove to be life-saving
It’s truly wonderful to have a forward-looking representative like John Salazar working for us in Washington.

The future for all of us is made brighter knowing that no longer will people be without health insurance and preventive health care with the help of his courageous vote.

No longer will you have to stay on a hated job just so you have health care.

No longer will you have to be worried that you are vulnerable between jobs.

No longer can a health insurance company arbitrarily cancel your policy.

No longer will there be a short-term or lifetime cap on insured medical expenses.

No longer will you be refused insurance for a pre-existing health problem, real or imagined, by the insurance company.

And the list goes on. Is the new law perfect? Far from it, but it is a beginning in moving this country into the rest of the developed world in making health care a right the same as the protection we get from our public safety organizations, our military and our entire legal system. We all benefit and we all pay into the systems. It is a fundamental feature of liberal democracy, which this country is

In this area, with it’s very high unemployment and many more people working limited hours without benefits, it’s hard to understand the resistance to universal health care. It’s also hard to understand why so many seniors, who already have universal care, are so resistant to the president’s plan.

In the face of all of this, kudos to John Salazar for having the guts to do what is right for the future of the country in spite of the current uproar. People will soon enough see that Rep. Salazar has participated in giving the citizens a huge life-saving benefit in future years.
John Borgen
Grand Junction

It makes no sense to
promote irresponsibility
Mike Huckabee says “why not let the irresponsible be irresponsible” regarding the health care mandate to get insured or be fined. How naive can he be?
The “irresponsible” are the reason hospitals charge $10 for an aspirin tablet.

Irresponsibility is expensive. Five young men got shot last winter; did they have insurance? If not, that aspirin tablet may be $50.
There was a great article about the rehab efforts at Hilltop recently. Where does that money come from? By the time the uninsured reach Hilltop, they’re probably on Medicaid or Medicare.
But an uninsured accident victim with head or spinal injuries, when initially hospitalized gets free hospitalization if he can’t pay. Responsible people must pay for it.

Other Republicans whine about how we should instead increase Medicaid coverage.
Seriously? They want members of the middle class, who actually want to pay for insurance, to go on Medicaid?
Do they realize that going on Medicaid means all your bank accounts and assets are scrutinized and, if you own property, at least in some states, the state puts a lean on it?

In this land of great opportunity and rabid opportunism, irresponsibility will doubtless continue using the emergency room for primary care, but hospitals could create emergency clinics, staffed 24/7 by physicians’ assistants or nurse practitioners. Or medical groups could do the same.
Docs on Call and urgent-care clinics have been doing some of this, but it’s my understanding they aren’t 24/7 and they require a person to have a primary care doctor.
This could change with some of this money from fines coming into the system.
And with more people being able to get health insurance who previously could not, that brings more money in.
Meanwhile, hospitals will need to start bringing down costs as the “irresponsible” begin contributing.
Eileen O’Toole
Grand Junction



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