LETTERS: The imbalance in health care between legislators and citizens

SHARE LETTERS: The imbalance in health care between legislators and citizens
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Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz. | AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin

Everyone’s heart goes out to Sen. John McCain battling brain cancer. We pray he survives it as he did his years as a North Vietnamese prisoner of war, which left one arm compromised from severe torture.

Columnist Lynn Sweet surmised his sobering confrontation with his mortality this week might move him to vote in favor of the “DREAM Act” enabling undocumented children to stay here, having grown up as Americans.

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From there, it’s only a short leap to realize McCain received immediate first-rate medical care no questions asked, thanks to the platinum insurance coverage he and other senators and Congress people enjoy as a fringe benefit: no deductibles; no disqualifying preexisting conditions; no age cutoffs. Bulletproof. It’s single-payer coverage like everyone receives in Europe, where health outcomes are better — at half the cost.

Why deride such coverage as “socialism” for the rest of us but not for our federal legislators? Word games. Pure and simple. All that is needed is to re-shuffle the deck and start fresh, with open minds, seeing as stake-holders not only the usual players like Big Pharma, for-profit insurers, etc., but also the people.

As long as there’s hope McCain’s condition might dispose him to vote yes on immigration reform — since we’re all pulling for him — why not also hope he speaks in favor of reforming the U.S. health care system for the better?

Ted Z. Manuel, Hyde Park

Senate health care bill vote is ‘irresponsible’

Tuesday the Senate will be called to vote on a health care plan that will change the lives of at least 32 million people. As of Friday they still didn’t know what’s in the bill they’re voting on. This bill could be a total repeal of Obamacare, but delayed for two years. It could be a limited replacement. Nobody knows. Whatever side of the health care issue you take, this is irresponsible.

For the last six months, veterans, the elderly and the disabled among others have been on tender hooks about what insurance they would have, or if they’d have insurance at all. In some options that could go on for another two years.

All of the options the Senate leadership are considering would destabilize the insurance market. The ripple effect would spread to everyone who has health insurance whether they’re on the exchange or not. Businesses unsure of next year’s expenses might be slow with expansion or raises, ultimately slowing the economy.

Our president and our congressional leaders indicate a “take our plan or no plan, doesn’t matter to us” attitude. That doesn’t sound like making sure the vast majority of Americans have adequate health care is their priority.

I’m asking you to call your senators. Ask them to vote “no” on any health care bill until they have a fully considered and debated plan that voters have time to review.

Wendy LaFauce, Belvidere

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