Healthcare debate

Dear EditorWith regard to the intense healthcare debate, the first thing to accept is that excellent healthcare for all is a basic human right - not a privilege or entitlement. I am so tired of politicians referring to Medicare as an entitlement when everyone has paid into it for years as an insurance for senior citizens. The best way to jump start the economy is to eliminate the burden for corporations and smaller businesses to provide coverage for their employees. They then could concentrate on what they do best and not add the healthcare costs to their products and services to the general public. Every working person would be required to pay a fair assessment in the form of a payroll deduction thus eliminating insurance premiums. There are over 300 million of us in the USA and this would represent a huge resource pool of money to give universal coverage for all. The insurance or healthcare industries are run for-profit and at least 40% of the cost of our insurance premiums goes to the bottom line of insurance companies. Some of the CEO'S are paid as much as $8 million per year in salary. Government employees - fire, police etc - receive health care benefits paid in the most part by the taxpayers and they should. Their taxes, however, do not provide healthcare for average citizens thus this is not an equal playing field. Healthcare should not be determined by the type of job one has. When visiting a doctors office, the first question that is usually asked is "What insurance company do you have?" and "How are you going to pay"? Not unfortunately "How are you?" Many doctors do not accept Medicare as it represents a cut in pay and, in fact, there is a new trend by many doctors to ask for a premium of $1,800 per year so they can cut back on the number of patients they see. This is totally unacceptable. Health service for all is the only way to go. Government would not get in between you and your doctor, it would simply administrate and monitor fraud and abuse. Medicare is very efficient and consumes about 1% in overhead, not 40% as it would not be for profit. In the 21st century, it is very sad that 50 million people have no healthcare coverage, while at the same time our congressmen and senators all have wonderful coverage at the taxpayers' expense. In other words "I am fine, the rest of you are on your own." Finally, because of this tangled mess in the way we deliver healthcare and insurance company involvement, we are rated 37th in the world and 45,000 of our citizens will die this year as they have fallen through the cracks. Colin Clarke Downey

********** Published: October 11, 2012 - Volume 11 - Issue 26