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Letter: What everyone wants - Purriercare!

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Couldn’t help but respond to Arnold Leshovsky’s letters regarding Obamacare. First of all, the term Obamacare was created by opponents (Republicans) of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) so he would own it if they could make it fail. He still refers to it either way. Secondly, his analogy of WW II to the Healthcare.gov website was misleading since WW II had full support of the people, Congress, and President Roosevelt. Had one of the political parties made it their primary goal to deny Roosevelt his fourth term vice winning the wars, voted to repeal the Declaration of War every few months, refuse to raise the debt ceiling and threaten to shut down the government, who knows how long it would have taken. Third, his fear of “government intrusion” is similar to gun owners’ paranoia over the simplest gun safety regulations when, in fact, there is no evidence to support their fear. Government is us. Be not afraid. The alternative is Corporate America.

Arnold follows Boehner’s unsupportable view that the “people” don’t want Obamacare when, in fact, polls show strong support to make it work by identifying problems and fixing them as implementation proceeds instead of repealing it. Also, Arnold’s assertion that the ACA was written solely by Democrats is also false. It was debated over many months in a bi-partisan committee before it became evident the Republican members had bought into their leadership’s position to deny Obama a second term through absolute obstructionism. If it had been written solely by Democrats it would have included a “public option” or be single payer.

My position on health care is simply stated. It is a basic human need and right, not a privilege for the fortunate. It is a service, not a commodity to profit from. Its boundaries are virtually undefinable. Thus, any solution to providing comprehensive health care for all has to reside within the health care providers themselves with resources coming from a common source, the highest level of government “of ALL the people, by ALL the people, and for ALL the people.” In our democracy, that level is the federal government. It simply doesn’t make sense for individual states to provide more or less than any other state.

Implementing and paying for it is simply refining and extending existing Medicare/Medicaid programs to everyone. As in Medicare and Social Security, the program would be paid for through regular deductions from income beginning with the first paycheck, dividend or any other form of taxable income at a progressive rate set by formulas based on actual costs of services/facilities provided. Everyone pays in. No premiums or choice of coverage is required.

Instead of reducing access to medical facilities as Arnold’s letter warned against, current and future facilities would be more widely available and operate at more efficient levels. Under this strategy, people would have more freedom to choose their health care providers since there are no artificial restrictions on where their medical services are provided or who provides them. The Affordable Care Act has already taken advantage of advancing technology in patient diagnostics, record keeping, and other clerical tasks.

This is no more than another opportunity to implement the Keep It Simple Stupid (KISS) principles applied to complex problems to make the solutions manageable by mere humans. Obamacare is just the first step and an essential one.

This quote applies: “If you don’t know where you’re going, any road will get you there.” The ultimate goal is health care for everyone. It’s a moral imperative.

This is my plan for Purriercare, what’s yours?

Lee Purrier

Park Rapids

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