"I'm going to speak my mind because I have nothing to lose."--S.I. Hayakawa

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Sticking my foot in it big time....

I don't think my trick is going to work (see below), so I'm posting this now.

(I have no idea if this will post on Aug, 20. I'm trying to fool this site into thinking it's Aug. 20th at 12 a.m. The following letter was written to Ronnie Bennett, who at her Time Goes By site today, Aug.12, wrote a long article about the proposed health care bills under consideration. There's a link down there on the right. You'll have to scroll down to Aug. 12, assuming my little trick works, and this posts on Aug. 20.

She asked that we elder bloggers post our own articles on Aug. 20, at our own blogs. From this she hopes to discern how elders really feel about ObamaCare, apart from the spectacles we have been witnessing on news broadcasts of elders rampaging at town hall meetings. I'm afraid my letter is not going to be what she hoped for, but it's how I feel about the whole debate right now.

Once again, I apologize for drifting off into political subjects. That is not the purpose of my blog.)

Dear Ronni,

I will be unable to post a letter re ObamaCare on my blog on Aug.20th, because I will be in bottom of Haleakala caldera on Maui. I will be listening for, and hoping I can’t hear, the heartbeat of that volcano.

However, I would like to make some comments re the health care reform bills. I write “bills” because I understand there are several under consideration.

I live in a remote location and do not have access to much information regarding those bills, but I want to state that government run anything frightens me no end. Social Security and Medicare, both mandatory and government run, are a mess. When I turned 65, I had no choice but to sign up for Medicare, as my previous insurer required that Medicare be my primary insurer if I wanted supplemental care insurance.

Now it is almost impossible to find a primary care physician in my area—near Anchorage, Alaska—who will accept a Medicare patient. My long- time family physician has opted out of Medicare, and I am required to pay him directly $140 ( 75% of regular cost) for an office visit. I cannot submit this to my secondary insurer.

In addition, many specialists now refuse new Medicare patients here. As a result, many elders go to hospital emergency rooms, resulting in phenomenal charges to Medicare and secondary insurers, which serve only to further undermine Medicare.

If the government, which wants to reduce Medicare payments to providers even more, can’t currently satisfy physicians financially, how can health care reform—run by the federal government—be any better? One only needs look at Medicare to see that the government has failed. Perhaps that is one reason behind elders being so upset at those town hall meetings.

Second, what really frightens me is what I have been led to understand happens if an ObamaCare bill is passed, and that is that many federal committees then write the regulations under which health care will be managed, and the specifics of that management. All of the rumors we have been subjected to may very well be exaggerated and untrue now, but once a committee gets through with them, who knows what will happen? If that isn’t leaving the chicken coop door open for a fox, I don’t know what is.

Third, why are they rushing this? A well-considered, researched, and planned health care program cannot be put together and rammed through a partisan Congress in just a few months and be anything but a disaster.

My suggestion would be for the president to appoint a number of committees to research, examine, write, and hold public (and Internet) hearings on various aspects of health care reform. Nothing good ever comes from hasty planning, and health care reform is far too important to ram through Congress. Perhaps the party in power thinks this is necessary to cement the president’s image, but what kind of image will he have if ObamaCare is a disaster? Will those Congressional leaders share in the blame? Or will they distance themselves from him prior to their being voted out of office by an enraged public?

Cost is another thing to consider. Congress has been on a spending spree the likes of which we’ve never see before, and it appears it isn’t over. Really, where is the money going to come from to pay the astronomical costs of health care?

And last, any health care reform that does not require the mandatory participation of the president and his family, members of Congress and their families, and all federal employees will never have the trust of the public. Especially me.

Or, as George Orwell intimated, are some are more equal than others?


  1. I agree that a successful health plan will need at least a few years to draw up. The fact that the plan is being rushed makes me very distrustful of it.

    I get the feeling those behind the pending health plan figure if they slip it past us before we know what's happening, then it will be too late for us to stop it.

    I'm scared about of a number of things that are happening here in the U.S. Proper immigration laws need to be enforced but that's not being addressed at this time.

    Before long, our country is going to have a minority of true blue Americans. What the hell is happening under our very eyes! A country can't maintain itself if it caters to more than one language. English is THE language of the U.S.

    I'm getting all fired up and it's nearly time for bed.

    It's hard telling what I'll be dreaming tonight. Or will I have to tolerate nightmares?

    I for one am glad that folks are speaking up. Of course, it's not always pretty but it's got to be done however it is handled.

    Tight lips can sink ships as well as loose lips.

    Night, night. That's it from Shaddy.

  2. Ah, Gully, politics. Shaddy's right: If only there'd been proper immigration laws in Massachusetts back in 1620.

  3. Of course, I believe there should've been similar immigration laws in Australia in 1788.

  4. Gully,

    I could not agree with you more. Government mandated anything always ends in higher taxes, more waste, more corruption, and a decline in the service provided.

    I have read bits and pieces of the proposed bills as both my conservative and liberal friends pass them to me. I must tell you, that just as most of the legislation that is passed through in a hurry, there are many hidden clauses that would make a novice conspiracy theorist toss their cookies. My only advise it to contact your representative and demand they read all 1000 pages this time.

    The administration really needs to stop the knee-jerk reactions, and knee-jerk legislation. I honestly fear this one may be the proverbial straw that breaks the camels back. Imagine a world where your children and grandchildren are required to receive a vaccination that has only been tested a few short months (H1N1 – swine flu). This is what will happen if the vaccine is considered preventative healthcare. History has a tendency to repeat itself. Anyone who is old enough to remember what happened last time a flu vaccination was released prematurely should be very worried about this.

    I also agree with Shaddy. Healthcare cost can be greatly reduced, if legal citizens were not already paying the cost for providing care to 30 million illegal citizens that are already receiving free care. Now, in addition to this 30 million, there is a proposal in one of the plans that our government also provide (at no cost to the recipient) healthcare to all legal aliens, and political nationals that reside here. (This means a higher tax burden to citizens).

    Anyway, this is your blog and I will get off my soap box, but please don’t apologize in voicing your opinion. Unfortunately, we have reached a point in the history of America where the whining of the few is more audible then the voice of the masses.