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Northwest Voices

Seattle Times letters to the editor

May 12, 2009 at 4:00 PM

Health-care overhaul

Laughable effort to contain costs

Forgive me this chuckle for [the] headline, “Health-care sweetener for Obama” [page one, May 11], but especially for the subhead “… industry vows to contain costs.”

For years I have watched these health-related insurance companies and pharmacies raise rates ever higher and higher and always with the same justification, they say, of merely being competitive and keeping their heads above the economic flood of inflation. And now with a Democratic president and Congress, they want to look like the guys in white hats by “containing costs.”

How laughable.

They might hunker down for now, but as soon as the next W. sits on the corporate knee, you’d better believe these companies will be back with rising fees faster than you can say “sick.”

— Bink Owen, Walla Walla

Corporations only care for profits

The for-profit private health-care-insurance industry is offering to try to reduce rate increases by 1.5 percent per year. They say this will save U.S. citizens $2 trillion over 10 years. We must not believe them. There are many reasons why.

Two trillion dollars buys a lot of corporate jets. Two trillion dollars buys a lot of vacation homes. Two trillion dollars buys a lot of fancy corner offices. Two trillion dollars buys a lot of Rolls-Royces. Two trillion dollars buys a lot of politicians.

The CEOs and boards of directors of publicly held corporations are legally bound to maximize profits for their shareholders at the expense of their customers. Voluntarily reducing premiums might even be illegal unless they can show the shareholders that this will actually increase profits.

The private, for-profit health-care-insurance industry is pledging 1.5 percent reductions in premiums. However, we currently pay about double what other industrialized nations pay for health care and our health-care outcomes are worse!

Write or call your senators and representatives today. Write the president. We need government-financed and -run health care now.

— John S. Snow, Woodinville

Allow some healthy competition

The people who have given us the most expensive health-care system in the world are finally talking about reducing costs.

We need a Medicare-like system open to everyone. Let the private insurance companies compete with it if they think they can offer something better.

— Bruce Pringle, Normandy Park

Comments | More in Health care

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