LETTER: We need real solutions to health care problem

Friday, July 24, 2009 | 12:56 p.m. CDT; updated 11:15 a.m. CDT, Thursday, September 3, 2009

It is about time we heard from our Representative on a substantive topic, no matter how off the wall he is.

"... I cannot and will not support a public health care system that rations health care and allows a government bureaucrat to make life-and-death decisions when it comes to people’s health."

Well,no one support such a thing. This is NOT what is proposed and our Rep. knows it. Luetkemeyer's statement is the 9-second sound bite he has been coached to use in referencing a public option and has nothing to do with reality.

Also, we now know where Blaine Luetkemeyer's priorities are:

"... one thing is clear — small business owners need meaningful reform that increases access to quality, affordable health care."

I concur with this completely, but there is so much more need out there than that which applies solely to "small business owners." What about the 47 million uninsured in this country? We need a public health option to compete with private insurance to bring down costs and provide coverage for folks who now have nowhere to turn. Every year, thousands are going bankrupt because of medical expenses, bringing down small businesses along with the rest of us. Our health care system is broken.

We need real solutions, not sound bites.

We need him to support President Obama's efforts to bring America into the 21st century with a health care system at least equal to that of other industrialized nations.

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John Schultz July 24, 2009 | 10:53 p.m.

Obama's plan won't even insure everyone with its public option by 2019 - the CBO says seventeen million nonelderly people, roughly half of which would be illegal immigrants, would not be covered. Sounds like the public option might need private plans to provide IT with competition.

(Report Comment)
Ray Shapiro July 25, 2009 | 8:21 a.m.

("We need real solutions, not sound bites.")
("We need a public health option to compete with private insurance to bring down costs and provide coverage for folks who now have nowhere to turn.")
("What about the 47 million uninsured in this country?")
("Every year, thousands are going bankrupt because of medical expenses, bringing down small businesses along with the rest of us")
("Our health care system is broken.")
("We need him to support President Obama's efforts to bring America into the 21st century with a health care system at least equal to that of other industrialized nations.")
Democratic Party poop being slung at the American public.
Politics once again gets in the way of reason and reality as Obama's minions jump on a bandwagon and put a spin on America's Health Care system.
1. America's Health Care system is not broken. It is over burdened, to some degree, and needs to be tweaked, not taken over.
2, It is overburdened because we use the insurance concept model to dole out health care, (both premiums and actuaries which inflate costs for malpractice expenses, premiums and coverage amounts.) Bring down health care costs by first doing away with insurance as a "health cost" contributor. Get the AMA, big Pharma and Medical Universities to work on the "expense and access" issues. Not politicians/political parties.
3. We allow people who should be sent back to their birth country, (illegal aliens), to have a "free" ride.
4. We don't have checks and balances in Medicaid and Medicare concerning fraudulent and excessive billings, (
5. Uninsured does not mean no access to health care. Show me numbers of people dying in America because of no access to health care. There are also many people who do not apply for or utilize "free" or "sliding scale" health care resources, from United Way and other nonprofit voluntary health and human care service agencies, by their own choice. Uninsured does not mean no availability of health care, in America.
6. People recover from bankruptcy.
Medical costs are not even that big of an issue, concern or cause of most bankruptcies. In fact, maybe our government should declare bankruptcy and start all over again, with a clean slate. It'll give them a chance to become better fiscal managers of taxpayers' monies. (Or does their fiscal management plan include constantly printing up more money and attempting to increase personal income taxes to 75%?)
Soon, we will all be working for or totally dependent on the government.
(The government of Obama, for Obama by Obama.)

(Report Comment)
Ray Shapiro July 25, 2009 | 8:26 a.m.

We need to drive down the expense of health care.
The health care industry needs to be free of the insurance companies.
If you follow the money, insurance companies are a major part of the problem.
Obama is not reforming the health care industry.
He is becoming an insurance salesman.
Insurance is just another bureaucracy.
Government workers push paper. Insurance companies dole out benefits, (aka entitlements). It's a perfectly understandable fit, but highly flawed.
True changes to improve health care accessibility could look something like this:
1. Eliminating health care as an insurable commodity from insurance companies. Eliminate malpractice premiums to insurance companies as this too puts a financial burden on the health care industry.
2. Shift most of the responsibility of accessibility to the AMA. The AMA, directly or through Medical Schools can work out the "malpractice" issue with their accountants and attorneys concerning "risk-management."
3. Government employees manufacturing medical supply/equipment can offset the expense of health care "accessories."
4. Government employees can manufacture most medications.
(Research and development can continue with the "inventors.")
5. The government and the AMA can work together to reduce/subsidize the schooling and certification of physicians and key medical professionals.
6. Remove the military from the management of VA hospitals. Assign these hospitals to Health and Human Services and afford accessibility to vets and the indigent.
These are just a few ideas I've made up off the top of my head. I could come up with more. So can other people. It amazes me that politicians see orchestrating an insurance industry coup as their only option. Even Republicans buckle under the influence of insurance company stockholders and board of directors. The American public is being duped by Democratic Party propaganda and blinded by Presidential charisma. Our health care system is not broken. It can be improved with some tweaking to move the "doctor" culture in the right direction.

The feds already have too much debt and overspend on everything. Their current plan will only cost the taxpayer and employers more money and heart ache.
When it comes to "reforming health care" they should be looking outside the insurance box and focus on the psyche of doctors, nurses, medical technicians, counselors and physical therapists and patients more so then on their own agenda for an all encompassing bureaucracy.
Obama is wrong on this one.
His ego, and the power crazed efforts of other political left liberal progressives, prevents him from seeing anything but that agenda.
Insurance czar should not be part of that agenda.

(Report Comment)
Tim Dance July 25, 2009 | 2:50 p.m.

I am not reading ray hapiro's diatribe, it is long and it looks like it was written by a madman.

John, the private solution failed. Time for you Libertarians to realize that the profit motive does not work when it comes to making life and death decisions. Profiting off of people's suffering is wrong...period.

Good for you Bill, let people know what an utter puppet Luetkemeyer is to his insurance cronies. Now let see if Paul Sloca muscles the editorial staff here and have them take down the editorial to "clarify" it

(Report Comment)
Charles Dudley Jr July 25, 2009 | 3:33 p.m.

>>> Tim Dance July 25, 2009 | 2:50 p.m.
I am not reading ray shapiro's diatribe, it is long and it looks like it was written by a madman. <<<

It is nothing he has not posted here before or on Mike Martin's Beat Board or on that other local news outlet. It is too bad you are just not educated enough to understand exactly what he has presented.

(Report Comment)
Ray Shapiro July 25, 2009 | 5:01 p.m.

@Timmy me boy:
If you are part of the Obamatribe, then don't waste your time trying to read or attempt to comprehend my "too long" thought provoking "outside the box" anti-insurance/pro-AMA alternatives.
Have you read that 1,000+ page health care diatribe written by that Presidential Madman? You remember. That one....,1014...

(Report Comment)
John Schultz July 25, 2009 | 7:44 p.m.

Tim, please remind me, are you talking about:

The "private solution" where each individual state mandates which services must be provided by each insurance company in that state or

The "private solution" which disallows people from buying insurance policies from out-of-state or

The "private solution" that mandates a person MUST be in Medicare instead of private insurance if they have paid into Social Security?

Oh sorry, that would be the government getting between patients and their doctors.

(Report Comment)
Ray Shapiro July 25, 2009 | 8:13 p.m.

Fifty year old cartoon predicts Obama-type selling snake oil.

(Report Comment)
Ray Shapiro July 25, 2009 | 8:56 p.m.

("Many of the uninsured are young and healthy (40 percent are between ages 18 and 34) and at this point in their lives, particularly in this economy, choose to put their dollars elsewhere."

Apparently those who are legally in this country, and are involuntarily uninsured for an extended period of time, constitute a small number of people. Moreover, the involuntarily uninsured are not forced in this country to go without medical treatment.

"The notion that the uninsured are without health care is bogus, as well. They consumed an estimated $116 billion worth of health care in 2008, according to the advocacy group Families USA."

So based on a fabricated crisis, Obama panics and is attempting to hand doctors, hospitals, and patients over to an army of bureaucrats.")

(Report Comment)
Tim Dance July 27, 2009 | 10:39 a.m.

<<<Oh sorry, that would be the government getting between patients and their doctors.<<<

As opposed to a insurance bureaucrat getting between patients and their doctors who's sole purpose is to make money?

We heard all this crap in '94. 15 years later, the market has failed. Profiting off of the suffering is immoral.

(Report Comment)
John Schultz July 27, 2009 | 11:09 a.m.

And looking toward the government for a solution is insanity.

(Report Comment)
Tim Dance July 27, 2009 | 3:28 p.m.

No, insanity is doing the same old thing and expecting a different result. Go back to reading Atlas Shrugged. Try to convince the American people to feel sorry for big corporations. Who is John Galt? Certainly not a doctor.

(Report Comment)
KEN GERINGER July 27, 2009 | 3:47 p.m.

Dear Missourian,
Please shut down these forums.
The space on the page is wasted.
How much of Ray and Charles can anyone take.
Where is the expertise.
Have fun.

(Report Comment)
John Schultz July 27, 2009 | 4:04 p.m.

Tim, I know it may shock you, but arguing using stereotypes doesn't work very well when the person you are trying to pigeonhole has never even picked up an Ayn Rand book. Got another paintbrush you wish to use?

(Report Comment)
Charles Dudley Jr July 27, 2009 | 4:15 p.m.

KEN GERINGER actually this style of commentary is used by alot of online news outlets around the world. It does work if you yourself want to make it grow and get more people posting. The more that post the bigger and better it grows and the more diverse the opinions posted become.

If you think this is bad just go to "That Other Paper" and read all of the rabble rousing that goes on there.

(Report Comment)
Tim Dance July 27, 2009 | 4:23 p.m.

Hmm... John you seem to pigeonhole any solution that involves the government to be intrinsically bad. Who's pigeonholing what?

I find it very hard to believe that the chairman of the Boone County Libertarians would be ignorant of the tenets of Rand. Objectivism is a philosophy that many Libertarians find enlightening. Nice try of making yourself a martyr of those who would profit off the suffering

(Report Comment)
John Schultz July 27, 2009 | 4:45 p.m.

Tim, if you think all Libertarians are Rand-following cultists, you would be very wrong.

(Report Comment)
Tim Dance July 27, 2009 | 5:08 p.m.

John, I'm asserting that most Libertarians are aware of her philosophy. Again, St John of the Immaculate Market, there is no need to exaggerate what I said to make your martyrdom complete.

(Report Comment)
John Schultz July 27, 2009 | 11:57 p.m.

Just because most Libertarians are familiar with Rand's philosophy means they follow it in lockstep. We have Libertarians who have come from the left, those who have come from the right, and those who have come to the party with no political past, and not even a majority of them have read Rand. Find something else to rant about.

(Report Comment)
Tim Dance July 28, 2009 | 12:42 a.m.

Wow, that's the pot calling the kettle black. You libertarians spent years on these boards spewing the same old garbage year after year and I'm ranting? That's rich lol

(Report Comment)
John Schultz July 28, 2009 | 1:15 a.m.

Well Tim, unless you want to get to the point and/or address my July 25, 2009 | 7:44 p.m. comments that seem to have sent you off into the Rand abyss and babbling about martrydom, I guess this conversation is over.

(Report Comment)
Tim Dance July 28, 2009 | 9:40 a.m.

I did, you just decided to focus on the superfluous. My point was made before Rand.

(Report Comment)
John Schultz July 28, 2009 | 10:37 a.m.

Tim, my pointing out to you that there has been no free market in health care insurance for decades after you claimed the private market has failed is superfluous? Going back to the top of this thread I see you also didn't want to address the CBO study that shows the public option wouldn't even cover all uninsured within TEN FREAKING YEARS.

"I'm from the government and I'm here to help."

Here's one more superfluous story to read if you have the time to deign upon me:

Looks like some of Obama's talking points about health insurance reform (note he has switched from saying healthcare reform) just got shot down.

(Report Comment)
Tim Dance July 30, 2009 | 11:24 p.m.


Reading back on these comments, you didn't mention anything about there being no free market in health care for decades. Your comments were not superfluous, they were non-existent.

I think you just like to use up all your libertarian/conservative cliches. I hope you got all of them in.

You advocate an immoral and cruel system. You are so wedded to the idea of free markets, you would rather see people die for a lack of coverage then the government pay for it.

According to the CBO, it also said that it doesn't take into account the possible expansion of medicare/medicaid. Nice that you left that out. I will be so glad when health care reform is passed and people will reject the cruel libertarian philosophies when it comes to health care.

(Report Comment)
Tim Dance July 30, 2009 | 11:33 p.m.


your link is just a bunch of old recycled 90's trash. When you are uninsured, you don't have a choice of doctors either. Just more scare tactics.

Readers, please don't vote against your own self-interest. Small businesses will continue to suffer because they can't afford benefits to attract top candidates. Health care costs, according to GM, adds $2000 to each car. Medical expenses account for many bankruptcies in this country, which is unheard of in other industrialized countries.

(Report Comment)
John Schultz July 30, 2009 | 11:52 p.m.

Tim, go back and look at my comments from July 25, 2009 | 7:44 p.m. as I told you once before. Let me know if you need some help in parsing them. Here's a hint - government mandates are not part of a free market. Government has made health care more expensive.

You expect government to reverse that trend and call me cruel and immoral? I want insurance reform that reduces costs, increases insurance coverage, and gets government out of the way - Obama's plan doesn't do that. Sorry if that doesn't jibe with the empathy you are oozing. I'll be on the Eagle Friday at 5 PM if you want to call in with your ideas for improving health care instead of the endless platitudes about immorality.

As for your comment about the CBO, please point me to the specific statement which invalidates what I said. Because looking at the letter they sent to Chuckles Rangel, it sure looks like they acknowledged there would be an expansion of eligibility to Medicaid and modifications to the programs:

(Report Comment)

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