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Story ID:5347
Written by:Frederick William Wickert (bio, link, contact, other stories)
Story type:Musings, Essays and Such
Location:Everywhere All states USA
Person:President Obama
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By Fred Wickert

This is more of a comment than an article, but it will be too lengthy to put in the comment section for your article. I have chosen this way because of the necessary length.

I have enjoyed your stories and articles since you have been posting on Ourecho and found this article to be well written. That being said, I also found it to be inaccurate. It is easy to see why it is inaccurate because the news media constantly refers to it with the same inaccuracy. It is constantly being referred to as President Obamaís Health Care Plan. Even the President calls it that.

The problem with this that to date, President Obama has never offered a Health Care Plan and no one can therefore understand just what his plan is. The main one everyone is up in arms about is a plan or proposed bill introduced in the House of Representatives. It was not proposed by the president. The President, in previous administrations, has produced a bill of his own when proposing legislation, and sent it to the congress to consider and act upon. It is then, the Presidentís bill or plan. In the present case that has not happened. He has delegated it to the Speaker of the House to get something done.

There are at least three different bills that have been offered and /or at least partially considered. The one of over a thousand pages introduced in the House, and two others in the Senate. We have not heard very much about the Senate bills. There have been other plans offered in both houses of congress that have been ignored. I hate to be redundant, but as yet, there has not been one from the White House, or from the President if you will.

In your article you speak of the desire for, ďAll Americans to have good quality health care.Ē There is no other country in the world with as good quality health care as in America. Many people who can financially afford it, come to America to get health care because they cannot obtain it in their own countries, which have the same kind of government run health care as proposed in that House bill that has garnered so much attention. The reasons for that are many.

To begin with, the poor and the people without health insurance being touted as the reasons we need reform is not the real reason behind the push for it. It is just the excuse believed to be the one most likely to have it accepted. As anyone can plainly see, it is not being accepted. The greater share of those who do not have health insurance normally, are young people who can afford health insurance but prefer to spend their money elsewhere because they donít think they will need it. Another large group, are Illegal immigrants who should not be here to begin with because they came here illegally. We cannot issue an open invitation to the rest of the world to come here for free medical care, which is what could happen if we provide it for the illegal immigrants.

Most of the genuinely poor are eligible for Medicaid. My wife and I have been taking care of developmentally disabled adults in our home for 27 years. It is my job to take them to all of their medical appointments, dentist appointments and eye care, as well as getting all of their prescriptions for them. They get the best of care. Better care than my wife and I do, and they donít pay one cent out of their pockets for any care or for their prescriptions. They have Medicaid.

I once was in the waiting room for a doctor visit when a man I knew was sitting in the waiting room. When he came in he went to register. He was handed a clip board with some forms on it and asked to fill them out. He declined, saying he could neither read nor write. They asked him what kind of insurance he had and he replied that he had no insurance and had no money. He was seen by the doctor in his normal turn. He did not have to wait any longer than anyone else, and he did receive good medical care. He was also given medication from the doctorís office. He did not have to go get a prescription filled. I knew the man. He had no job. His wife had a job working in a grocery store thirty six hours a week at low wages and they had a small child. She did not receive medical benefits from the grocery where she worked. The man was eligible for Medicaid but was too proud to apply for it. He lived in a trailer park.

Recently I have spent a lot of time in doctorís offices in several different places. Three of them have been in hospitals. I have noted with interest, that each of them had signs on the wall titled, a Bill of Rights for Patients. The bill of rights declares that everyone has the right to not be in pain. It also states that no person may be refused care for lack of insurance or ability to pay, and that every person regardless of status was entitled to equal care and treatment.

So, with that being the case, who and where are all these millions of people without care. I have not seen anyone dying in the street or elsewhere because they canít get medical care. Have you? Two years ago I was in the hospital for a quadruple heart bypass. My room mate at the time was a man who was given the best of care, free of charge. He was on Medicaid. I decided against having the TV turned on because I did not want to pay the $8.00 a day they charged for it. The man in the other bed bragged that he did not pay for it. He said he had been in that hospital twice before. They sent him a bill and he just forwarded it to Social Services and they paid for it. His complaint was they refused to give him a large quantity of Morphine tablets when he got out, supporting his drug addiction.

The bill being proposed in the house could be devastating to the senior population, who require the most medical care of any other group in the nation. There is already a shortage of doctors and nurses. If 47 million more people were given care with the same number of doctors and nurses we now have, how long are people going to have to wait for treatment? Your article did decry that waiting as a factor in current health care. There is no effort in the bill to try to get more doctors and nurses. The waiting will become much longer with an increased patient load.

The bill calls for a 500 Billion dollar cut in Medicare to help pay for it. At the same time the government is saying Medicare is costing 470 Billion. Do the math and see what it tells you. Of course it scares the senior citizens and anyone else who has elderly loved ones in their family.

Law suits for malpractice have closed many a hospital and the costs of malpractice insurance has caused many doctors to quit and find some other profession. It is caused by a large number of bogus law suits in which overzealous juries are awarding huge settlements. What is needed more than any other single thing to bring down costs is to have tort reform to reduce the payouts on these lawsuits and reducing malpractice insurance premiums. In addition, doctors order a large number of unnecessary tests to avoid being sued. But nowhere in proposed legislation is there any mention at all of tort reform.

Neither is there any mention of reducing fraud and it is well known that fraudulent claims and practices are costing hundreds of billions of dollars in higher health care costs each year. Might it not make sense for the government to do something to reduce that? The bill in congress does not provide for it anywhere.

I suggest that if there is a real desire to bring down the costs of health care and make it more affordable, rather than to expand the size of government and take unconstitutional control of our health care system, there should first be tort reform to reduce the costs of insurance and steps taken to reduce fraud. Then single out those individual persons who really need help and provide that help to them. The taxpayers should not be required to pay for health care for illegal immigrants beyond emergency care, and they should not be required to pay for health care for people who can afford it and just want to spend the money elsewhere. Finally, I suggest all insurance companies be allowed to sell coverage nationwide instead of being limited to only the state they are in. The competition alone will drive down the costs of insurance.

We need to fix the system. We don't need to buy a new one.


Fred Wickert