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Northwest Voices

Seattle Times letters to the editor

August 26, 2009 at 4:00 PM

Health-care debate: Group Health, accepting change and Nazi argument

Group Health innovative, but maybe not affordable

I enjoyed the article about Group Health Cooperative [“Does Group Health hold answers in health-care debate?” page one, Aug. 23] and certainly have been satisfied with the quality of care I’ve received from it during the years when I was working.

However, as a model for affordable health-care reform, it is too expensive for the unemployed. The costs for my wife and I range from $10,692 to $12,932 annually for Group Health’s two plans that are not burdened by higher deductibles or higher out of pocket limits. Couple this with their annual double-digit increases and those costs will hit $24,000 per year in just seven years.

Now I ask, how can the unemployed afford that or those who are forced to take Social Security early at 62 at a lesser amount and are too young to qualify for Medicare?

MSNBC just quoted today the average Social Security check as being $1,153 per month or $13,836 per year. Seems to me the Social Security check is not going to cover Group Health, food and rent.

We need some kind of health care that is truly affordable since many who don’t think reform matters because they have employer coverage may soon find themselves laid off in this wretched economy.

— Clayton Chinn, Seattle

Those who saw U.S. change should know better in health-care debate

When Jackie Robinson broke baseball’s color barrier, angry people screamed that the national pastime was doomed. In the 1960s, anger erupted during the civil rights and women’s liberation movements. Change seems to create fear, making people susceptible to misinformation and emotional appeals.

Sean Hannity and Glenn Beck lament the loss of the America they grew up in. I grew up in that America, too, and remember it was segregated –that I could be punished as a female college student for wearing pants on campus. That the search for communist conspiracies turned Americans against each other. That political assassinations became a too common occurrence. So I am amazed when I see people, who grew up like me in those tumultuous decades, angrily shouting at town-hall meetings.

Baseball did not end because Robinson played. Grandparents delight in seeing their granddaughters have opportunities for education and careers that were once denied them. Change is not a conspiracy but is often a positive in our lives.

We may have differences on issues, but by not listening, we become pawns in a narrative not based on facts or fairness. Conflict sells better than reasoned discussion. People who have lived through periods of hatefulness before should know better than to contribute to its rise again.

— Nancy L. Snyder, Shelton

Nazi comparison only about socialist policies

Leonard Pitts Jr. secured his reputation as a fiery, emotionally charged writer with his post-9/11 syndicated column, but his pretended ingenuousness [“The other ‘N’ word,” Opinion, syndicated column, Aug. 20] over the issue of comparing President Obama’s plans for socialism in America to Nazi Germany’s socialism goes too far.

No, Pitts; the right is not saying Obama wants to murder Jews, as Nazi Germany did. Most of us don’t even think he wants to invade Poland.

The comparison — and all radio hosts I’ve heard discuss it have been very clear on this matter — is with the Nazi Party’s socialism in their health care and economic policies.

What Obama is calling for isn’t new; socialist societies have been failing for many decades now. The atrocities came much later and not necessarily as a result of the socialism, though that’s a debatable point.

Presenting some of the facts can be just as dishonest as presenting untruths, Pitts. Please try to play fair.

— Daniel Gilmore, Des Moines

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

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