Letters to the Editor

Health care not a right, but something 'civilized nations' provide anyway | Federal Way letters

According to a letter April 10, we have no “right” to health care and President Obama’s new health care plan is going to kill jobs and bust the budget. He’s correct: Health care is not a right, but it is something that civilized nations provide for their citizens one way or another. Maybe the Obama plan will bust the budget and maybe it has a lot of flaws. Let’s give it a chance and find out. If it’s not working, we can always change it.

I have a problem with the letter writer’s arguments against what he calls “Obamacare.” According to him, the health insurance companies in Massachusetts will soon be bankrupted because that state’s plan will not allow the companies to increase rates. If "Obamacare" is going to actually set some limits on health insurers, bring it on. At the beginning of 2010, the health care premiums for my family of four increased to $54 per week from $49 per week in 2009. Of course, we still have to pay a $15 co-payment for each visit to our primary care physician and $30 if we see a specialist. The co-payment for a hospital stay is $250, and it is $100 if we go to the emergency room. Prescriptions run us from $10 to $40. Fortunately, we don’t have any special medical needs. But for these benefits, we must pay $2,808 per year. I’m sure that lots of people have to pay even more than we do. I did a little research and found out that United Healthcare, the parent company of our insurer, made record profits in 2009. Their profit margin was 28 percent or $3.8 billion. Yet they still raised our rates in 2010 by $260.

The writer also says that Medicaid, hospital emergency rooms and charities pick up the slack for the uninsured. Doesn’t he realize that these programs and places are at their breaking point? That’s one of the reasons why the government is trying to fix things. I’m sure that the Obama health care plan is not going to be perfect. I just don’t understand why citizens (who aren’t health insurance company executives) are so against something that may actually help us all in the long run.

Alana Summers, Federal Way

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