The Carlisle Mosquito Online

Friday, August 28, 2009

Why deny anyone affordable healthcare?

To the Editor:

Why does a compassionate nation like ours find it so difficult to provide healthcare for all its citizens? Why do many fear a single-payer system? Medicare, a government-run system, does an outstanding job and probably provides the best care in the world. Whether the number of uninsured is eight million as Judy Jones suggests (Mosquito, July 31, 2009), or 45 million as Paul Krugman writes (NYT July 31, 2009), seems immaterial when allocating health services.

There is plenty of evidence to show that single-payer systems in countries with lower GDPs are more cost efficient with better health results (GECD Health Data 2009: How Does the United States Compare). Despite some erroneous reports in the media, the Massachusetts Taxpayers Foundation reports that Massachusetts health reform is working and its budget “is well within expectations” (Boston Globe, August 5, 2009).

Why deny any one of our citizens access to affordable healthcare? Why are our fellow citizens’ lives sacrificed for the sake of profit-driven insurance companies?

Gwen Charter

Skelton Road

Why should the government make these decisions?

To the Editor:

The U.S. Census Bureau report shows on p.22 Table 8 that there are real problems with counting 47 or 50 million as uninsured. Included in this total are 9.5 million people who are foreigners; 8.3 million who make between $50,000 and $74,999 per year and choose not to be insured; 8.7 million who make over $75,000 and choose not to be insured; 8 million under the age of 18 who are eligible for public assistance. Further, 45% of the uninsured will have insurance within the next four months. Many are transitioning between jobs.

The Kaiser Family Foundation, a liberal non-profit, puts the number of uninsured Americans who do not qualify for government programs and make less than $50,000 a year between 13.9 million and 8.2 million.

Further, if HR3200 goes into effect in 2013, you will not be allowed to enroll in an individual health care plan (p.16, section 102, lines 3-26). Instead, you will be forced to go with the public option, whether you like it or not (hence it would be “illegal” to do otherwise.)

If you have a private plan, you can keep it until your employer decides to switch you to the cheaper public plan. If you should be one of the few who manage to keep private plans, you will not be allowed to change any of its terms or conditions. And you will still be under government control. The government will establish a Health Insurance Exchange to bring private plans under its jurisdiction (p. 72, Section 201, lines 8-14), thus dictating the benefits that can be made available under those plans (p.84-85, Section 203). If your insurance doesn’t meet government standards, you will be taxed 2.5% of your income (p. 167, section 401, lines 18-23). But if you’re a nonresident alien, congratulations, you’re exempt from this tax (p. 170, section 401, lines 1-3).

The writer in the last Mosquito makes many assumptions about what this take-over will and will not do. But thinking individuals should ask themselves – why should government and not American citizens be in charge of their own healthcare decisions, some of the most important, personal, and private decisions that people can make?

Judy Jones

Lowell Street

Time for some laughter

To the Editor:

It is time for a bit of humor. And I have the solution, Just For Laughs! Jimmy Tingle is a clear-eyed observer of this nation’s political life, and a really funny one. He’s appeared on the Tonight Show, Late Night with Conan O’Brien, HBO, and the Comedy Channel, and recently he took a turn in Andy Rooney’s spot on 60 Minutes. He has come to the area in the past, and some of your neighbors probably heard him. Now it your time to enjoy a bit of humor.

Jimmy will perform at a benefit for Communities for Restorative Justice (C4RJ) on Sunday, September 13, at 5 p.m. in the auditorium at Concord-Carlisle Regional High School, 500 Walden Street in Concord. Refreshments will be available for purchase. Tickets may be purchased in advance for $30 online at www.c4rj.com and to make it easy, you can always pick them up at Ferns or pay $35 at the door.

C4RJ has worked with the Carlisle since 2001 to bring together victims of crime and those who have harmed them. Trained volunteers work with both victims and offenders to reach an agreement for repair of harms done. As a volunteer and Board member with C4RJ, I hope you’ll join me at Jimmy’s performance and support the good work of C4RJ.

Barbara Howland

North Road


© 2009 The Carlisle Mosquito