To the Editor: Health care outrage based on misconceptions
Written by Judy Yackee   
Monday, 31 August 2009 08:54
This country's health care system has been broken for decades. Yet, when the first serious attempt is made to fix that broken system people are outraged. I feel this outrage is based on many misconceptions. A few of those misconceptions are:
"Death Panels" - The proposed bill requires only that medical facilities "counsel" people as to options that are available. One of these options is the completion of a Living Will. A Living Will is a document we can complete while healthy to direct loved ones and medical personnel. The purpose of this document is to indicate all that we do OR do not want done to prolong our lives in the event of a medical emergency should we be unable to communicate at that time. WE will determine what will or will not be done rather than leave that to our grieving family members or an unknown health care provider. Another option is to name a Medical Power of Attorney. This gives the power of decision-making to a trusted individual of our own choosing in the event that we are unable to make our wishes known.
"Socialized Medicine" - The government funded health care is but one possible choice the bill offers. I see this as a plus in that it gives everyone a choice and, as importantly, can serve to limit private insurers' power. If we have another option available to us the private insurance companies may think twice before dropping people from care and raising prices at will as they have been doing. Many current medicare recipients seem to object strongly to this option. Odd that those now on our "government run health care system" like it so much they don't want anything to change.
"Excessive Cost" - Due to the inability to pay costly medical bills thousands of people have (and continue to) lost their homes and/or declared bankruptcy. Numbers of these people go on to join the welfare lists. Thousands more are not receiving the health care they need to remain healthy and able to work or are going to foreign countries for care due to being uninsured or underinsured. These private tragedies ultimately affect the resources of the country and thus the taxpayers to the tune of billions of dollars.
There are provisions in the bill to reduce the administrative costs that are currently more than thirty percent of health care costs.
As citizens we each have a responsibility to research this and other issues confronting our country. Then we should use this knowledge (not the sound bites of politicians and talk show hosts) to decide what is the best course of action for us . . . and more importantly, what is best for America? If the system remains unchanged only the insurance companies win.
Judy Yackee
Portage
 

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