Health care bet
When you buy health insurance, you are making a bet. You win the bet if you become ill or injured and incur significant medical expenses. In betting against the outcome you really want to occur, good health, you are taking a hedging position. The insurance company that sells you the policy wins if you remain healthy. They collect your premiums and have no expenses of yours they have to cover.
The Republican Party’s proposed change to Medicare calls for a government voucher system that would be used by seniors to subsidize the purchase of insurance from private companies. This sounds to me like trying to place a bet on a football team with a huge lead halfway through the fourth quarter. Who is going to want to cover that bet? More to the point, what sort of odds (premiums) will they demand if they do? And be assured, they will set the odds so that, on average, they are the winner.
Private health insurance for seniors will be very expensive, requiring significant personal outlays beyond the government’s contribution, or else involve significantly reduced coverage.
San Luis Obispo
When will we learn?
We all learned early in our academic careers that one plus one equals two. This lesson seems to have been lost. As long as we squander our resources on killing people overseas, on a bloated military-industrial complex that Eisenhower warned us against, we are doomed to ignore Pogo’s famous utterance: “We have met the enemy, and he is us.”
As long as we burn fossil fuels and dump uncontrolled quantities of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere, the oceans will keep on warming and the storms will keep on building, tearing the fabric of society to shreds.
We have painted our species (and others as well) into a corner. The only way out is a Manhattan Project times 10 to build renewable energy and infrastructure.
Will we do that? No. Instead, we have pondered the birthplace of President Obama — three years into his tenure.
When will we ever learn?
San Luis Obispo
Capps on deficit
Representative Lois Capps (Viewpoint, Sunday, April 24) once again demonstrates the shallowness of her intellect and lack of political courage to address the real problems facing this country today.
In a 600 to 700 word “opinion,” she casually admits that the “federal budget deficit is a big problem” and that, “Yes we know it (Medicare) has its problems,” but offers no solutions.
Instead, she offers a disingenuous, ideological attack on a real plan passed by the House of Representatives. What is her plan for solving the big problem? Nothing more than fear-mongering and fabrication.
According to Ms. Capps, Medicare guarantees access to quality, affordable care for seniors. In reality, Medicare guarantees nothing. It does nothing more than promise a certain level of coverage for a certain cost, and it doesn’t cover everything as she implies.
Ask an insulin-dependent diabetic on Medicare whether Medicare covers continuous glucose monitors. It does not, but some private insurers do.
The fact that Medicare is so woefully underfunded seems to be beyond Ms. Capps’ ability to address. Medicare as we know it now will change, and the guarantees she believes are in place will not be worth the paper on which they are written if significant cuts are not quickly made in Washington D.C.’s spending.
They need us
In regard to Bill Shaffner’s April 28 letter, “Impeach Obama,” I don’t think this would be a good solution to the end the wars.
To end them, you would need to recall half of Congress, as well. There are warhawks there that supplement their elections through donations from weapons manufacturers, and this is where the problem really lies. Going back to who started this mess, George W. Bush should have been impeached for proceeding without NATO backing or support.
I, for one, would like to see our troops pulled out, but that’s not going to happen anytime soon. As long as the the military machine in Washington, D.C., has the power to lobby Congress, we as a free nation of people have no say in the matter. Write letters to your representatives often and get others involved and have them do this also.
Just remember, 2012 elections are coming, and these elected officials need us to vote. If they want it, they better listen to us. “We the people,” is the beginning of the Constitution. Unless we exercise our right to parlay Congress into action, we lose the rights we deem so dear.
Raymond C. Porter
How little change
Donald Trump boasts that he is responsible for forcing the president of the United States to release his long form birth certificate. A white man demanding that a black man validate himself, with the right- wing jackals feeding off the spectacle, is nauseating. How little things have changed. We should all be embarrassed and ashamed.
San Luis Obispo
My job is to work with families to help their elderly loved ones stay safely in their own homes. Most older folks wish to age in place and need to contact their cable or phone company from time to time.
Last week, my work was to help a senior citizen with dementia and hearing loss change two bills for her phone and TV cable to auto-pay, since she was missing payments in her confusion. Once I reached the call center supervisor (no simple task), I was informed that this rural customer must go online to a computer to make these changes. Of course, she, like many frail elderly folks, has no computer and can’t drive.
I am appalled at the way these corporations ignore the needs of their most vulnerable senior customers.