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Northwest Voices

Seattle Times letters to the editor

Topic: health care

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April 10, 2014 at 12:15 PM

Obamacare: Why are we so scared of a single-payer system?

Syndicated columnist Paul Krugman is absolutely correct about the simplicity of a government single-payer system compared to the private insurance mess that is the Affordable Care Act (ACA) [“Obamacare: a Rube Goldberg device,” Opinion, April 5]. Single-payer systems cost half as much and cover everyone without bankruptcies. The ACA does nothing to control the…

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0 Comments | More in Health care | Topics: Affordable Care Act, health care, Obamacare

January 19, 2014 at 6:54 AM

Health care in Wash.: Stop failing emergency patients

The news this week was bleak. Washington state received a D+ for the level of state support for emergency patients, ranking 35th in the nation according to the American College of Emergency Physicians [“Emergency doctors’ report faults Washington state,” Local News, Jan. 16]. Yet many policymakers remain unaware of the reality we live: a daily…

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0 Comments | More in Health care | Topics: emergency patients, health care, hospitals

January 14, 2014 at 12:09 PM

End-of-life care: the role of a health-care provider and the predictability of death

When it makes sense to go against a health-care provider

In response to David Baker, there is a time to die and there is a time to disagree with health-care providers [“When is it worth saving a life?” Opinion, Jan. 9].

In her early 90s, my mom had blocked arteries in her leg and faced potential amputation. After two failed surgical repairs, our advocacy led to a third surgery lasting 8 hours and later days in the intensive care unit where she nearly died. But she lived to be 96 years old and kept her leg. What were those four to six years worth?

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0 Comments | More in Health care | Topics: death, end-of-life care, health care

December 18, 2013 at 7:36 AM

Free market and competition should control health care

Government is not capable of running our nation’s health-care system

The system giving access to the insurance products is flawed so severely that those who need it have to pick up the phone and call [“People stymied by error codes on state health exchange may get more time to enroll,” Online, Dec. 15].

Now the government is asking insurance companies to guarantee coverage to those who tried to sign up but were unable to complete it.

It is embarrassing that in this technically advanced world, with computers, software and Internet that this is happening.

This is unfair to the providers and those trying to purchase it. It is a perfect example of why the government is not capable of running our nation’s health-care system. It is welcome to regulate it, but they obviously should not be this much involved.

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0 Comments | More in Health care | Topics: Affordable Care Act, health care

December 10, 2013 at 11:31 AM

The Affordable Care Act is a step in the right direction

Provides treatment for those with pre-existing conditions

President Obama speaks about the new health care law during a White House Youth Summit in Washington. (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster, File)

President Obama speaks about the new health care law during a White House Youth Summit in Washington. (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster, File)

Andrew Reding might be among the small minority who have to pay higher health insurance premiums under the Affordable Care Act [“I can’t keep my health plan,” Opinion, Dec. 6].

However, he fails to recognize he is actually getting more. Not only can he no longer be denied coverage for a pre-existing condition, it cannot be rescinded if he utilizes it. Should he suffer from a catastrophic illness or injury, there is no longer a limit on what his insurance will pay. Of bankruptcies filed in 2007, over 60 percent were due to medical expenses — 75 percent of those individuals had health insurance.

This doesn’t happen in other developed nations. They provide universal health care at a lower per-capita cost than the U.S. system, and have better outcomes. They don’t utilize for-profit insurance companies, and because all are covered, treatment is sought at earlier stages.

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0 Comments | More in Health care | Topics: Affordable Care Act, health care, Obamacare

December 9, 2013 at 6:25 AM

The U.S. should adopt Canada’s single-payer health-care system

It works and people like it

Initially Republicans killed the Affordable Care Act’s public option that might have led to a national single-payer health-care system. Throughout they’ve relentlessly pursued their self-fulfilling prophecy that all of the ACA shall fail.

Perhaps we should reconsider the single-payer system, even though the ACA still contains very significant improvements over the present system, at somewhat lower costs.

Canadian single-payer universal health-care costs total only 60 percent of the present U.S. system, with better results (life expectancy, infant mortality, etc.). Despite misleading ads by U.S. insurance companies, the Canadian system is also very popular. The evidence? When May 2011 elections gave conservative Prime Minister Stephen Harper a conservative parliamentary majority, guaranteeing passage of any conservative legislation, he quickly assured Canadians of no change in their single-payer system.

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December 7, 2013 at 8:20 AM

Health-care: Allow open group enrollment

Also, address the chargemaster pricing problem

Thank you for publishing Andrew Reding’s guest column on health insurance ["State’s health-insurance exchange site remains down," Online, Dec. 5]. Like Reding’s Blue Shield experience, my Lifewise policy is canceled as of the end of the year. I will be transferred to a new plan with premiums that increase almost 20 percent and a deductible that increases 81 percent to $6,350.

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November 18, 2013 at 7:03 AM

Middle class faces the brunt of health-care changes

Insurance company representatives arrive at the West Wing of the White House in Washington, Nov. 15, to meet with President Obama about the problems with the rollout of the new health care law. (AP Photo/ Evan Vucci)

Insurance company representatives arrive at the West Wing of the White House in Washington, Nov. 15, to meet with President Obama about the problems with the rollout of the new health care law. (AP Photo/ Evan Vucci)

Obamacare justification should not be political

State Insurance Commissioner Mike Kreidler made a valiant attempt to justify the seriously flawed Affordable Care Act in his column [“Your health plan and Obamacare,” Opinion, Nov. 13].

Sticking entirely to his party line, he listed the reasons why we all should embrace Obamacare. However, commissioner, the dilemma of policy cancellations to the middle class is not about politics. It is seriously affecting nearly 300,000 residents in the state of Washington.

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0 Comments | More in Health care | Topics: health care, Obamacare

November 15, 2013 at 7:34 PM

Obamacare involves rate increases and other unmentioned costs

Employers won’t be able to cope Insurance Commissioner Mike Kreidler understates not only the impact on those who are losing their health plans under Obamacare, but also the number of people affected [“Your health plan and Obamacare,” Opinion, Nov. 13]. Kreidler states health plans have often canceled coverage. No, they discontinued plans for new sale and his…

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0 Comments | More in Health care | Topics: health care, Obamacare

November 7, 2013 at 7:37 AM

New health insurance doesn’t own up to the hype

Notions that prior plans were substandard is a lie I want to add to the many voices of people on the individual insurance market who say their health insurance plans were pretty much ruined by Obamacare [“Canceled health insurance plans add to angst of change,” page one, Nov. 3] Our plans in the past covered our…

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