Responding to U.S. Rep. Connie Mack IV on health care

By P. K. Misra

Naples

After reading the Guest Commentary by U.S. Rep. Mack on the Health Care bill, I had to write this to you.

First, there has not been 'a' bill yet -- some bills has passed somewhere but none has cleared all the review and approval process yet! So, everything -- all these fear mongering talk -- is all SPECULATIONS and EXAGGERATIONS and partisan politics. None of these are really helpful to us the people that really need health care reform.

He says/wants:

· Americans are tired of spending! Why didn't he speak up when we were spending trillion dollars in Iraq war when we did not have the money to spend!

· United States has the best access to health care - but that is ONLY TRUE for those that have the money and/or insurance! What about the 45 million that are poor and/or don't have insurance like the 22-year old fresh college graduate that was shot in a recent crime spree!

· Doctors being in charge of our health care! Since when? It is the insurance companies that really control who we see, how much is paid, etc.

· Patients to be acting like consumers, making decisions in a free and competitive market. Tell me what city and town I can go where I can really compare costs - of lab tests, hospitals, doctors office procedures, and other medical surgery procedures etc - openly sitting at my home and or on the Web so that I can make this decision today! It is absolutely NOT the case - you just cannot compare because none is readily available in the public domain!

· To look to free market to improve affordability etc! Wow!!!! How quickly does he forget! What did competition and free market in financial/banking sector brought us --- bankruptcy, higher unemployment, loss of homes, loss of savings!!!! Is this what you want in Health Care sector!! Let me give you two specific examples:

1. I have a health insurance policy from BCBS-Florida. For the last three years, they have been raising the rates by 16-18% each year! To be able to afford any kind of coverage, I have had to continually increase our annual deductibility from $500 (when we started the policy 3 years back) to now $2000/ year!!

2. We have two Long Term Care policies with AIG. We started with the monthly cost of a little below $300, and now it is almost $600/ month!! AIG has been raising rates exactly 25% each year for last three years!!

And, he calls this the 'best' access to health care!!!

Let's not scare people by saying that the current reform effort is a "government takeover of our nation's entire health care system." That is absolutely false - it is his interpretation and a simple exaggeration of facts! Besides, he is the government! Why don't they all - all 435 of them -- just quit - we will save lots of money!

I just wish republicans and democrats stop hyper-ventilating about non-truths, falsifying each other's views, scaring seniors and sit down face-to-face and do something that the public needs -- just earn their salaries and office expenses - for a change!

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