LETTERS TO THE EDITOR

How about a focus on health?

Posted

To the editor:

As of this writing (on Nov. 30), we don’t know how the new U.S. Congressional tax bill will actually settle. But it seems mightily unfeasible for all but the wealthy. To give even more tax breaks to corporations and the rich, the Senate has decided to repeal the individual mandate.

The Republicans in the House already have taken away medical deductions, the one bit of help that families with huge medical expenses have. Both chambers have let the Children’s Health Insurance Program — especially helpful to the poor in the Bronx — lapse. 

Senators admit they will begin to chip away at Medicare and Medicaid — Americans of all ages will suffer.

So it’s time for New Yorkers to separate ourselves out from national policies and urge our state senators — Republicans and Democrats alike — to support the New York Health Act with all their might. It’s Medicare for all — and paid with progressive premiums to the state. 

That’s single-payer. Delivery of care remains private. New Yorkers will be covered for all medically necessary services, including doctor, hospitals, preventive, mental health, reproductive health, dental, vision, hearing, prescription drug, and medical supply costs.

Patients would regain free choice of doctors — rather than having to find in-network physicians and hospitals — and doctors would regain autonomy over patient care. That’s capitalism at its best.

But much of what happens depends on our urging our state senators to vote for this wonderful legislation. We need to gather with our neighbors — young and old — forming a new coalition of New Yorkers. Via emails, calls, letters and demonstrations, we need to demand our right to health care for all. 

That’s citizenship at its best!

Helen Krim

Helen Krim

Comments

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TruthTeller

With all due respect Mrs. Krim, your ideas have just been made obsolete! We were already snookered once by Democrats with Obamacare, and it ain't gonna happen again. Thankfully, now with the repeal of the fascistic mandate, a little bit of freedom has been restored to the republic. I thank god I never have to think about Obamacare ever again. The country is sick to death of your ideas and luckily a new era of Americana and freedom has been unleashed in the Trump era and your side is being relegated to the dustbin of history.

And regarding the tax plan, just one question. How much money are you saving? I'll be saving thousands. I'm very happy about that. I'm very happy my poorer brothers and sisters are paying less. I'm very happy my richer brothers and sisters are paying less. I'm happy corporations are paying less.

Thank you Trump for realizing what needed to be done!!

Friday, December 22, 2017
Barbara L. Estrin

With all due respect, Truth Teller, it may be truthful that these are your opinions, but you're not writing the truth. The “new era of freedom” from health insurance you herald is a return to oppression for the two million New Yorkers who (without the mandate and with increased premium costs) will soon be without health insurance. Being forced to choose between physical health and financial health, medical catastrophe and financial catastrophe is not meaningful “freedom.”

Nor will most of us applaud the automatic cuts to Medicare, Social Security, Medicaid — and to the programs that enable states to staff their hospitals and clinics — cuts triggered by $1.5 Trillion in additional debt. These “thousands” you claim you’re getting (to get so much are you making over $400K/year?), are they enough to have you refuse reduced Medicare and Social Security payments because they involve mandates?

Helen Krim’s article described how the new tax bill damages our access to healthcare — not how much money will be (temporarily) saved by her, or you, or our poorer brothers or wealthier sisters. It was about, actually, what you seem to be advocating: federal legislation that favors big pharma, insurance companies, oligarchs over ordinary Americans, legislation such as both the Tax Act, and also Obamacare

She wrote about how the NY Health Act will give us feedom in ways Obamacare fails us: coverage for all New York residents; coverage better than Medicare, Medicaid, and for-profit insurance. Talk about freedom: the New York Heath Act frees everyone from job-lock, frees us from network restrictions, and frees us from costly co-pays and deductibles for dentistry, vision, mental health, prescription drug, and medical supplies. New Yorkers and our doctors will be freed from having insurers intrude into the doctor-patient relationship — freed from the vast quantities of paperwork required by insurers. And freed from billions of dollars of non-productive activity.

The New York Health Act will also save 16% or more of our property taxes (now no longer exempt from SALT). As well as saving NY $45B per year — by eliminating waste that doesn’t provide healthcare — freeing all these funds for more productive use.

I want the kind of freedom the NY Health Act will bring — freedom from the fear of medical bankruptcy or financial ruin should some member of my family have a medical catastrophe, (as almost 5% of us have, randomly, every year). I want the freedom to see a doctor when I’m worried about something small, before that small thing becomes life-threatening. I want my family free from insurance job-lock and my doctors freed from interfering benefits people (who aren’t doctors and have never laid eyes on me). And I want my local and county governments freed from paying tax money to profit-making corporations. Anyone who isn’t familiar with the freedom that NY Health will bring should check out www.nyhcampaign.org.

Thursday, January 4
Judy

Truthteller, are you a paid troll? You remind me of the Americans who feared Medicare in the 1950s and early 1960s. They believed a handsome movie star named Ronald Reagan who became a corporate shill for the AMA because, at age 50, he was no longer getting good roles.

Reagan toured the country telling Americans that Medicare would end democracy as we know it — that the government would tell doctors where to live and where to practice, that "you and I are going to spend our sunset years telling our children and our children's children what it once was like in America when men were free."

We hear reprises of the corporate propaganda Reagan spread against Medicare (scripted by the AMA) in the current propaganda against NY Health (scripted by Dark Money billionaires who want to keep their hedge funds flush with record-breaking profits from Insurance and Pharmaceuticals): socialistic single-payer healthcare will create chaos, terrible taxes, doctors quitting, and awful healthcare.

Remember all the chaos that occurred after President Johnson signed Medicare in July 1965? That’s right, you don’t. Less than a year later, the transition had happened —without a hiccup. No chaos. Doctors came to love it. Hospitals loved it. Patients love it. Only the Republicans want it gone. (I’m looking at you, Paul Ryan. Really, who lusts to prevent sick people from seeing doctors and old people from having enough food or heat — when they’re in high school?)

You probably weren’t paying attention when the Canadian province (state) of Saskatchewan moved to universal single-payer insurance in 1961 (what they call “medicare”) under the leadership of Tommy Douglas. Canadian media, the wealthy, and doctors spent vast sums to spread the kind of propaganda Reagan spread (and that you are now repeating). But once Saskatchewan passed medicare and proved its effectiveness, within ten years every other Canadian province wanted what Douglas brought to Saskatchewan. Funny thing how cheaper and better catches on. Canadian polls repeatedly name Tommy Douglas “the greatest Canadian of all time.”

We will look back on NY Health and wonder why we didn’t pass it sooner.

If you want to know more, go to NYHCampaign.org and get the facts.

Thursday, January 4