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Northwest Voices

Seattle Times letters to the editor

August 18, 2009 at 4:00 PM

Health-care reform: Is meaningful change doomed?

Who is Congress really representing?

Editor, The Times:

So it’s happened. Not only is single-payer health care off the table, but it looks like President Obama and Congress are ready to cave on the public option as well [“Viability of public option in question,” page one, Aug. 17].

Democrats hold the White House and have large majorities in both houses of Congress, and yet they don’t have the spine to pass a bill that might upset the Republicans and the insurance companies?

We should change our nation’s motto to government “of the corporations, by the corporations and for the corporations.”

— David Pfeifle, Lynnwood

With present course, health-care reform will fail

How sad that The Seattle Times’ Aug. 17 editorial [“End-debate distortions doom end-of-life care,” Opinion], excellent though it was, needed to be written in the first place.

As someone who has spent the bulk of their career in health-care communications and desperately hopes this nation can find a way to seriously reform health care (including provisions for better end-of-life care and counseling), I greatly fear the current reform effort is likely to go the way of other doomed attempts to ensure all Americans receive quality health care.

One would think it would be relatively easy to fight hysteria and other manifestations of nuttiness with facts. One would be wrong. Unfortunately, the American landscape has become of late a place where disagreements cannot be registered without masses of wild accusations, vicious taunts and outright lies.

And if all else fails to vanquish an opponent, the death card often seems to do the trick. As a result, all of us suffer.

— Mary Stanik, Minneapolis

In Post Office lines, an argument against government-financed health care

I can answer the question in your article about the fight against health-care reform [“Who’s behind the fight against health-care change,” Close-up, Aug. 17]! Who’s behind the fight against health-care change?

Everyone in the Post Office line last time I was there. While waiting in line, everyone had something to say about health-care reform. No postal delivery on Saturday? What if that meant no health care on Saturday?

If the U.S. Postal Service is going bankrupt, why would I want the government running health care the same way? Bankrupt health care could be worse than expensive health care. Long lines, poor service and overworked staff led to frustration as we waited.

I know our health-care system isn’t perfect, but making our medical care into something resembling our Postal Service is not the solution!

— Lee Binz, Normandy Park

Lucky protesters obviously haven’t had it tough enough

I have seen some of the footage of outraged citizens speaking out against health-care reform at town-hall meetings. It is their right to be outraged, their right to speak out and their right to influence the debate. Unfortunately, I can’t share in this outrage –I’m not so lucky.

They are lucky they have never lost a job and had to worry about how to pay for coverage for their family.

Lucky they have not witnessed emergency rooms filled with people receiving care in the most expensive environment for low-cost preventive treatment because they have no insurance and no other way to receive care.

Lucky they have not had to witness their employer deciding how to address the double-digit annual premium increases — by reducing benefits or increasing employee costs.

Lucky they have not known anyone whose lifesaving cancer treatments were stopped because a maximum benefit had been reached.

Lucky they have not known anyone with pre-existing conditions, which are used to deny coverage or make necessary coverage expensive.

Lucky they have never known anyone working two or three jobs who cannot afford health care still.

In the health-care debate, there are many things to be outraged about. I am outraged that for the last 15 years, private insurance companies have promised market-based reform that has never materialized.

It is outrageous to believe that it ever will.

— Kevin Jahne, Seattle

Individual freedom won’t disappear with health-care reform

Newsflash to everyone worried about losing your precious freedom in the face of health-care reform:

In Canada you are allowed to dance. You can also freely criticize the government.

Germany also allows dancing and kids can drink when they’re 16 years old. And you can drink at public festivals without being penned up in a “beer garden.” They even let you carry the glass around with you. You can also bring your dog with you to restaurants and to any park.

Travel more and you will learn that America no longer corners the market on freedom –if it ever did. In the meantime, take comfort in knowing that only in America you still have the freedom to choose between getting an operation and keeping your house.

— Peter Poirier, Woodinville

Comments | More in Congress, Health care, Politics, Reform

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