2010-11-05 / Letters

It’s All About The Money

Dear Editor,

Brian Palast’s letter vilifying Republicans in last week’s Wave inadvertently demonstrated the kind of thinking that is sinking the left.

First, Mr. Palast is weak on the facts. The Obamacare law isn’t about health, it’s about money. Most Republicans oppose the new law because it is bad solution to the wrong problem. The President has packaged insurance reforms everyone can agree on with a series of gimmicks to fund health insurance for an additional 32 million people. That might make sense if the healthcare finance system actually worked. Instead, it has been bleeding the country’s tax revenues for 30 years.

Obamacare robs Peter to pay Paul without addressing the core problem. If the president was going to focus on the money, he should have attacked the estimated $1 trillion that gets wasted every year through fraud, inefficiency and unnecessary procedures.

Healthcare spending was a record 17.3 percent of the U.S. economy in 2009. It’s bankrupting us! As far as health is concerned, I gather from Mr. Palast’s letter that he would be in favor of more laws that promote wellness (e.g. taxing Twinkees as we tax “cigarettes). That’s not what Obamacare addresses, the calorie disclosure mandate not withstanding. A real, audacious healthcare plan would have focused on keeping people healthy in this country instead of paying tons of money after they are already sick.

It would have also dealt with one of the core assumptions of Mr. Palast’s argument. Every decent American would agree that a person should be given help when he/she falls ill, regardless of the cause. That’s compassion. The problem is that he (and many others) accepts the notion that every person is entitled to an endless stream of procedures, tests and expensive drugs. That’s kindly but unconscionable There is cause and effect. If we give everyone essentially free services regardless of medical need, practicality or quality of life impact, we’ll go broke...and take our grandchildren with us.

There has to be a better way. Where to draw the lines is a tough question for Americans to debate. One thing is certain: That debate can’t happen in a poisonous partisan environment. Mr. Palast claimed Republicans are “desperately trying to dismantle” civilization. What we want to dismantle is the fiscal irresponsibility that wastes trillions of dollars and the political machine behind it. If you haven’t been a good steward of our tax money, we don’t believe you deserve to get more of it – much less any of our children’s.

MARGARET AND PAUL KING

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