Email letters, December 3, 2013
Ripped jeans inappropriate as part of medical attire
This letter is in response to the letter to the editor headlined “Medical assistants should change their greeting protocol.” What about what they are wearing?
I object to a nurse wearing jeans with many rips up and down the legs, even exposing bare skin. Why not wear scrubs?
I recently was in a clinic in Helsinki, Finland, where everyone wore dark blue scrubs — even the doctor and clerks. It looked “medical.”
‘How are you?’ is a greeting, not an invite to recite woes
Upon entering a medical facility, you are asked how you are by a friendly nurse or receptionist and you take issue with the greeting. Really?
“How are you” is a salutation, not a question to invite a recitation of your woes.
Pramenko deserves credit and ink for knowledge on health care issues
“Among all forms of mistake, prophecy is the most gratuitous.” George Elliot. Therein lies the answer to Richard Rininger’s question, “Why does the Sentinel keep publishing Pramenko?”
On the one hand, Dr. Michael Pramenko, M.D. – as a practicing primary care physician, past president of the Colorado Medical Society and former member of both Club 20’s Health Care Policy Committee and the Federal Advisory Board for Section 1322 of the Affordable Care Act – is perhaps the most qualified and knowledgeable local commentator available.
Consequently, Pramenko’s columns are consistently fact-based, and they carefully explain the public policy considerations that underlie that “market-driven” approach (originally conceived, endorsed and successfully implemented by “conservatives”) for extending affordable access to health care to 40+ million Americans.
On the other hand, local critics of the ACA – including Rininger and Gary Montgomery (“Obamacare website problems are just the tip of the iceberg”) – typically offer only unsubstantiated assertions of an “unworkable financial mess this law has created” and/or similarly unsubstantiated (but presumably dire) prognostications of “ultimate effects.”
Among the financial facts which Rininger ignores is that the ACA has already extended the actuarial viability of Medicare – by reducing its future expenditures by $700+ billion (“Obamacare’s Reviled Medicare Cuts Have Turned Out Better Than Expected,” Time), has already contributed to dramatic reductions in annual health care spending and cost increases, and that average premiums for policies offered on ACA exchanges were 17 percent lower than expected, saving another $147 billion in subsidies.
Meanwhile, Montgomery’s “iceberg” floats on references to Cuba, Venezuela and a financially-independent Canadian provincial premier who (on his doctors’ advice) opted for heart surgery in Florida – in 2010. Beginning in 2014 under the ACA, Floridians (many for the first time ever) will also have access to similar quality care.
That’s why the Sentinel publishes Pramenko’s (and contrary) opinions.
Pramenko offers false choices as he advocates for socialism
Dr. Michael Pramenko’s column on Dec. 1, claiming that Obamacare was not socialism as Josh Penry claimed, was filled with almost as many deceptive arguments as were used by the president to get Obamacare passed.
Remember, this law was passed by the Democrats, with not one Republican vote, against the will of the American people. Now, as more details are rolled out about the program, an even larger group of Americans is against it.
To be fair, Pramenko did write a couple of things that were correct. One, there is a need to find a more efficient alternative to using emergency rooms as a safety net for uninsured Americans. Two, this is a complex problem, and the answers are not going to be simple.
It is at this point that Comrade Pramenko begins his many false choices. He claims that Obamacare delivers reasonable answers to the questions currently facing our private health care designed by shareholder-driven, for-profit health insurance companies. Profit is obviously a dirty word to socialists. He claims that a single-payer system would save money and that many countries have found that they don’t need health insurance companies while outperforming the U.S. on cost and quality in health care.
Really, where? How about looking at lifetime HSAs, tort reform, buying insurance across state lines or any other number of free market ideas as alternatives?
According to Comrade Pramenko, the government and only the government will be able to solve health care problems. Of course, this is the same government that has spent hundreds of millions of dollars rolling out a website that doesn’t work, that has us $17 billion in debt and has Social Security and Medicare on track to bankruptcy. Why would anyone think that it wouldn’t?
Then let’s add on the fact that the IRS is going to administer parts of the program. The IRS and Obamacare are going to team up against you? Plus, members of Congress exempt themselves from the program. Why would anyone worry?
More than 5 million private policies have been canceled thus far, and that number is expected to reach 50-100 million policies when the employer mandate kicks in.
Let’s face it: When the government can dictate the kind of health care coverage you must buy and how much you are going to pay for it so that the government can give coverage to others, that is the essence of socialism.