Lighthouse Letters: The Best From September
Each month, The Pilot reprints the letters judged to be the best from the previous month. The year's best will be honored at a luncheon next spring.
On Health Care
FROM SEPT. 2: Both sides of the aisle are playing politics while the public waits for a new, improved health-care plan. One side offers a 1,000-page document while the other side simply opposes it.
I'd like to offer two solutions, either of which would satisfy the public at large:
1. Edit the 1,000-page document. A prerequisite would be mandatory attendance of all legislators who will ultimately vote on the final package. Both sides review each page. They must decide which are acceptable and which ones must be revised. Those opposing will be responsible to provide their revision for review within 30 days. Go through this process until the entire document has been reviewed.
2. At the end of 30 days, everyone must review and approve or reject these revisions. Continue this process until a package that is acceptable by both sides of the aisle is attained.
Ground rule: Revisions must be submitted within the 30-day time frame. Delays will result in a default to the opposition.
To add some incentive to their efforts, advise them that whatever plan they adopt will also apply to them. The result would be a historic first. A bill that is the unanimous effort of both parties and a bill that will be voted on by people who totally understand what it contains.
The alternative would be to vote to provide the public with the same plan that our legislators currently have. That would be nice. One standard for all.
Good Health Care
Is Worth the Cost
FROM SEPT. 27: Everyone wants to lower the cost of health care. Why?
Health care is more expensive, and requires a greater portion of our individual incomes because today's health care provides much more care and many more cures than ever before.
Sixty years ago, if you had cancer, you died. Think of all the life-saving, life-extending, quality-of-life treatments (chemotherapy, radiation, gene therapy) and drugs we have today. Think of all the diagnostic tools we have -- MRIs, CAT scans, the increasing number and types of blood testings that can be performed.
If we, as a people, want to stop the increase in the cost of health care, it's relatively easy. All we have to do is stop the improvements in health care. Do not contribute to charities that fund cures. Tell Congress to stop any public funding of medical research and development. Individuals can ask companies to stop researching and developing medical technology. Stop investing your money in health technology companies.
As individuals, ask the doctor for a treatment for your illness that's least expensive. Refuse CAT scans, MRIs, radiology and chemotherapy. Stop asking if the newest drug might help you.
You can't have your cake and eat it, too. You have to make a choice.
Americans are willing to spend an increasing amount of their personal income on advances in information technology and other areas. Think cell phones, GPSs, plasma TVs, Blackberries, WiFi, Wii.
So, are you willing to spend an increased amount of your income for health care or not?
We have the wonderful opportunity to live healthier, longer, more productive lives. Why are we complaining about it?
By the way, I do believe in some health care reform: enact tort and malpractice reforms and allow health insurance to cross state lines.
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