Clinton offered a health-care fix
Lynn Fisher’s letter to the editor, published on Sept. 28, took President Clinton to task for not doing anything about health care while he was in office.Do you remember that he appointed first lady Hillary Clinton to study the problem and recommend a fix? She spent considerable unpaid time and effort to come up with a proposal that was submitted to Congress for its consideration. Her reward for trying to fix a broken health-care system was the creation of a cult of “Hillary haters” led by Rush Limbaugh. At that time, as a graduate of Texas A&M University, I attended a meeting of former students at Fort Worth. The featured speaker was Republican Congressman Joe Barton, one of our fellow Aggies. Joe arrogantly told us the Republican caucus had decided they would debate the health-care bill, but they darn sure were not going to pass any version of it. So, the reason we didn’t get a health-care bill under President Clinton is because it was blocked by the Republican-controlled Congress. We still have the most expensive, though not the best, health-care system in the world. Many citizens have to choose between prescription drugs and food. Our neediest citizens often can’t get medical services unless they go to an emergency room. About 70 cents of every medical dollar go to costs for filing and administering insurance claims. When the Republicans finally produced a prescription drug bill, they inserted a clause – opposed by the Democrats – that actually prohibited the government from negotiating drug prices. Clearly, the administration is more concerned with profits for the pharmaceutical companies than they are with the health of our citizens. Canada and England do negotiate drug prices. So our sick and elderly go to Canada for their needed drugs, and the Bush administration is doing its best to close this loophole that is denting the enormous profits of the drug companies.Finally, neither the Clinton plan nor the one proposed by Sen. John Kerry includes a nationalized health-care system. I know Republican campaign ads have characterized Kerry’s plan as socialistic, and you seem to have bought into it. The ads are typical Republican misrepresentations (lies) designed to instill fear. Most of their ads are misleading and negative attacks on John Kerry’s leadership abilities and patriotism. But what else can they do? Bush certainly has no record to run on.
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