Pitcher: Health care reform needs to put corporations in check | SummitDaily.com
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Pitcher: Health care reform needs to put corporations in check

William Pitcher, Summit Cove

In response to Mr. Winegar’s (SDN 8-4-09) letter on Tuesday about the Democrat (tic) campaign that has incensed him.

First, it never ceases to amuse me when Republicans insist on using the noun, Democrat, in the place of the adjective, Democratic. It seems they are overly worried that the party may be conflated with the process if they are grammatically correct, so they choose to appear ignorant rather than risk that.

The fact is that one need not demagogue … that is to say that, the insurance industry and the pharmaceutical industry are indeed the culprits who will deny care and overprice their products in order to make obscene profits at the expense of the average American. They have an obligation to their shareholders to make as much profit as is possible.

It should be noted that tort actions make up one half of 1 percent of the overall cost of health care. Call me crazy but if my doctor messes up my health or kills a loved one by not doing his job properly, I would like to have the option of bringing legal action against them. Tort reform would deny me that and make it safe for doctors to be negligent.

Right now health care is rationed or denied by executives of insurance corporations whose prime directive is to make as much profit as possible from their policy holders. I believe that handing that responsibility over to democratically elected officials would more likely give us a fighting chance at a fair deal and better health care.

Then there is the red herring of “aliens,” legal or illegal. Many are receiving their primary health care at America’s hospital emergency rooms, as are many uninsured American citizens whose numbers grow by 14,000 daily. By the design of these facilities, this kind of health care costs three to 10 times more than doctor office visits.

Perhaps Mr. Winegar would like to repeal the Emergency Medical Treatment and Labor act of 1986 that requires hospitals to treat anyone regardless of status if they show up at an emergency room needing health care. Then we could watch uninsured people dying in the streets…

But I don’t believe that Mr. Winegar really wants to see that. Perhaps he just wants us to get angry that foreigners are getting treated. If they had insurance and were treated at doctor’s offices there would be a net savings of many billions of dollars each year.

If 70 percent of Americans are “happy” with their health care as Mr. Winegar claims, polls have shown that those same Americans are equally “unhappy” with their health insurance provider at about that same percentage. Confusing heath care with health insurance is a favorite ploy of many of these republican opponents to sensible reform.

It is interesting that proponents of the free market system get all bent out of shape at the prospect of the U.S. government competing with the nation’s largest corporations. All the bill will do is offer an alternative to the corporate greed that is holding us hostage and extorting all they can in exchange for an often undelivered promise of health care assurance.


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