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Letter: Support McNerney's healthcare reform

Original post made on Nov 24, 2009

Dear Editor,

Read the full story here Web Link posted Friday, July 31, 2009, 12:00 AM

Comments (22)

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Posted by Annie
a resident of Birdland
on Nov 24, 2009 at 12:34 am


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Posted by Anne
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Nov 24, 2009 at 6:25 am

We all know Comrade McNerney...our local Czar of Healthcare, (non-efficient) Windmills, Cap and Trade, Higher and Higher Taxes...supports Obamacare which will dramatically increase our taxes and the cost of actually receiving care...if we are the lucky ones to receive it at all.

Btw: Did you know that McNerney and his Obama Admin cohorts will also be selling you pliers out of the trunk of their cars? You'll need pliers to pull your own teeth in your later years...after years of not receiving proper dental care from Obamacare. (Pulling your own teeth among seniors is common in England because their national health system is woefully inadequate in many ways, including providing proper dental care.)

Here is more info on the Senate's Socialist Healthcare bill (Source: Heritage Foundation)...

The Five Flaws of the Reid Health Bill

* Posted November 19th, 2009 at 11.17am in Health Care.

We’re still poring over Majority Leader Harry Reid’s (D-NV) just released health care overhaul, but the major outlines of the bill are no different than the policy train wreck the House passed earlier this month.

The five major flaws of both the Pelosi and Reid Bills are:

1. A New Public Plan. Both the House and Senate bills would create a new government-run health care plan — a so-called public plan — intended to “compete” with private insurers in a new health insurance exchange. The result: widespread erosion of private insurance and substantial consolidation of federal control over health care through the exchange. Congress is incapable of guaranteeing the American people a level playing field for competition between the government plans and private health plans. As the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services has recently certified, what many have already concluded, millions of Americans will lose their existing employer-based coverage.

2. Federal Regulation of Health Insurance. Both the House and Senate bills would result in sweeping and complex federal regulation of health insurance that will create a one-size-fits-all federal health plan that will drive up (not down, as promised by the President) the cost of everyone’s health insurance premiums.

3. Massive Expansion of Medicaid and New Taxpayer-Funded Subsidies. Both the House and Senate would dramatically expand eligibility for Medicaid and extend generous taxpayer-funded subsidies to the middle class. Combined, such commitments are the biggest cost items in the bills would result in scores of Americans dependent on the government to finance their health care.

4. Employer Mandates. Both the House and Senate bills would impose an employer mandate for employers who do not offer coverage and for those whose benefits do not meet a new federal standard. An employer mandate would hurt low-income workers and would stifle much-needed economic growth. Our country does not need a job killing employment tax at a time of 10.2% unemployment.

5. Individual Mandates. Both the House and Senate bills would require all people to buy health insurance. Those individuals who do not purchase government qualified health care coverage would be subject to new tax penalties and in some cases jail time.

Finally, don’t be fooled by the reported cost estimates. The Senate and House bills use budget gimmicks and unrealistic savings to make their proposals fit under the $900 billion limit put forth by the President. As history has proven, government health care programs end up costing much more than first promised.

We will be posting more in depth analyses as our analysts read through the bill, so stay tuned. Majority Leader Reid is promising the first vote on his health bill this Saturday. With that in mind, the Dean of Harvard Medical School, Dr. Jeffrey Flier, wrote in the Wall Street Journal yesterday:

So the majority of our representatives may congratulate themselves on reducing the number of uninsured, while quietly understanding this can only be the first step of a multiyear process to more drastically change the organization and funding of health care in America. I have met many people for whom this strategy is conscious and explicit.

We should not be making public policy in such a crucial area by keeping the electorate ignorant of the actual road ahead.

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Posted by JP
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Nov 24, 2009 at 10:43 am

Where was McNerney this summer? If we were being fed misinformation then he should have held town meetings to inform us, the people that elected him. He let us down. This health care reform plan cannot be called health care for all because it does not offer quality health care. When our so called leaders, who are voting for it, were asked if they would also like to put in a clause that would require them to be covered by the plan, they declined to include such a clause. One has to wonder why. Wake up America, we are losing our freedom.

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Posted by Rae
a resident of Mohr Park
on Nov 24, 2009 at 12:31 pm

Right . . . those town hall meetings where the tea party faithful would drown out any meaningful discussion or comments from opposing views, with vitriol and name-calling. I'd say one way of losing our freedom is not having the right to be able to stand up in a community meeting and express views that some in the audience may not agree with, without being shouted down and called names.

We have an health insurance cartel that is out of control. This industry is made up of corporations that have worked together to drive the cost of insurance through the roof, making it impossible for even many middle income families to afford the premiums, let alone what their insurance doesn't cover. And heaven forbid if you actually do get sick, because chances are that you won't be covered, and in fact may be dropped due to those pesky pre-existing conditions. Talk about rationing. Of course, you won't hear any of that from The Heritage Foundation since a good percentage of their funding comes from the insurance, drug and medical corporation cartels.

While I do not agree that individuals and families should be forced to buy health insurance, I do believe that a business should provide good, affordable health care for its employees - and I believe many would if the price was anywhere near affordable.

As far as the cost of health care reform, yeah, it's going to cost a bundle, but so is doing nothing. So I say bring on the competetion as well as regulation of an industry that has not only done a bang up job of buying support in Congress, as well as in right-wing think tanks, but has ensured that millions are uninsured due unethical price gouging and business practices.

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Posted by Ken
a resident of Amador Estates
on Nov 24, 2009 at 12:54 pm

Who says do nothing? There are other answers besides this big government take over of our liberties. How about letting insurance companies compete across state lines? How about making the loser pay when they bring a needless law suit? How about medical savings accounts? There are other suggestions but when some people change the locks on the doors and won't listen to small government solutions we Americans don't always hear about them. Don't listen to the Media babble on about the tea party faithful. Listen to what these people are concerned about.

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Posted by Rae
a resident of Mohr Park
on Nov 24, 2009 at 3:18 pm

"we Americans"?? Are you saying that anyone who doesn't agree with your views are what? Not Americans? If so, you just made my point about the tea party faithful.

You don't have to watch television to see the Tea Party effect even here in this microcosm of America. Although I noticed she's toned down the "true American patriot" rhetoric on her website just a little, the Pleasanton Tea Party maven still falls right in line with the party script - even to calling the lone Republican Congressman who voted in accordance with what his constituents wanted (concept!), a "traitor". Can't wait for her to post which Senator is being called a "prostitute" by good old family value Republicans.

As for selling insurance across state lines - it's not as cut and dried as buying, oh say, a dress off the internet from a company in another state. According to an article on Kaiser Health News (you know, Kaiser of Kaiser Health Insurance), "Consumer watchdog groups and the National Association of Insurance Commissioners say the provision would erode many state government consumer protections, leave policyholders with inadequate coverage and could actually lead to higher premiums for some people." If you're brave enough to consider an opinion other than one posted by the GOP, read on. Notice that both the House and the Senate Finance bill do offer a form of *restricted* and *regulated* insurance across state lines.
Web Link

Having a the losing party of a malpractice law suit pay expenses does nothing to help the millions of uninsured get good, affordable health insurance. A good example is how auto insurance companies treat a claim - whether or not you're found at fault, your insurance goes up. And, don't bother going to another company within 3 years - your insurance will probably be just as high there - even if you weren't at fault.

As for medical savings accounts, they're available today with many company-offered insurance plans, and don't get used because if you're struggling to live check to check as it is, most people can't afford to tuck thousands of dollars away just in case they get sick. And those who can't afford the outrageous cost of insurance premiums today, certainly can't afford a medical savings account tomorrow, whether or not they currently have health insurance.

Millions of the people who don't have health insurance have jobs. They work for a living. Sometimes at two or three jobs. And still, the bottom line is they can't afford health care for their families. Or their insurance has been terminated for a pre-existing condition. Or they actually got sick and found their insurance wasn't any good.

Although I don't believe it will happen given Congressional actions over the last few months, I have hope that lightening will strike and everyone will really "Listen to what these people are concerned about" and work towards actually fixing health insurance - for everyone.

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Posted by jimf01
a resident of another community
on Nov 24, 2009 at 4:17 pm

Since Kaiser stands to lose money in that scenario, it is altogether unsurprising they have a criticism.
No one wants to hear what the evil insurance cartels have to say about dismantling their entire industry bit by bit.
I also hope that lightning will strike and everyone will really "Listen to what the *American people* are concerned about" and work towards actually fixing health insurance - for everyone, not destroying what is already there and starting from scratch, but improving upon the finest health care infrastructure in the world.

A personal note, my own brother-in-law suffered a major heart attack last week. He has no job, he has no insurance. He has no means to pay. He was transported by AMR, just like everyone else is. He went into one hospital where it was determined that he needed a catheterization and stent to unblock his LAD artery. He was immediately transported to St Josephs in Stockton, the finest cardiac care available in the area, and treated. By the time I left work, got to Stockton, and got to sit down in the surgery waiting area, the Dr came out and told us he had successful procedure. He went home today with a new lease on life. My BiL is from the Philippines, my wife said later on, in their hometown, her brother would be dead by now.

So don't tell me we are leaving people on the street to die. Don't tell me we need to remove the profit incentive from the system and have the government run everything. Where would the research that invents the stent and catheterization technique, and other amazing innovations happening in this country, where will they come from if no one has an incentive to advance and innovate?
HSA's and tort reform are but two options on the table. The option that everyone should reject, and now apparently on 38% support, is ObamaCare, taxing us for 10 years to pay for 6.5 years of benefits and calling it a deficit neutral plan. That is a lie!

Like this comment
Posted by Bruce
a resident of Pleasanton Heights
on Nov 25, 2009 at 10:02 am

If the health insurance cartels are out of control, it is because congress has let them, even encouraged them by taking bribes ( the real definition of campaign contributions) to insure that they would be able someday (now) to force another buracracy down our throats. How long before there won't be healthcare on weekends, like the post office? If congress can't run the country effectively, how can we expect them to run what will be the largest organization in history?

If congress can opt out of coverage, I as a taxpayer should have the same option. How about anyone who pays for their own health insurance doesn't have to pay the huge tax increases that we are going to be blessed with. Also, how about taxing congressmen on the value of their benefits in excess of the average benefits received by non government workers. I'm willing to bet that the cost of their health benefits is probably close to $40,000 per.

My big question is can a new congress 5 or 10 years from now shut down the failed effort to solve our health care problems, or are we stuck for life?

The democrats are telling us that by fixing medicare, they can eliminate any increases in cost. Why haven't they done that for the last 40 years. Are you all so stupid that you can't tell when you are being lied to?

Rep. Wilson was correct, only it's not just Obama who lies, it's all of congress.

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Posted by Bruce
a resident of Pleasanton Heights
on Nov 25, 2009 at 10:39 am

Why does everyone think that it is an employers or governments responsibility to provide your healthcare? It is your life, your health and your responsibility to provide for it. If someone wasn't paying for your insurance, you would shop for the best coverage at the most affordable price. Just like you do when shopping for a car. Health insurance companies should be required to take on all comers, just like a car dealer, and provide options for different coverages, just like you pick options for your car.

If you want to fix healthcare, don't ignore the problem by creating a bigger problem. Government can't do anything right. Look at cash for clunkers, the most new cars sold under this program, designed to increase fuel efficiency, was the Ford F-150 pick-up. Great fuel economy there!

Look at the post office, soon to stop mail delivery on Sat. and perpetually losing money. Social Security is broke, Medicare is broke and the United States is broke(n).

We are responsible for our lives. We have choices. It is our responsiblity to care for ourselves, not the government's.

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Posted by Tom
a resident of Stoneridge Park
on Nov 25, 2009 at 11:14 am

I agree with Bruce. It's everyone's own responsibility to provide for their health care. If you're sick and can't afford to get medical treatment, then you should just die and make room for the responsible people in this country.

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Posted by Cholo
a resident of Livermore
on Nov 25, 2009 at 12:07 pm

I am very please with the Medicare that I receive. I get excellent care and I'm well.

I do most of the work to keep myself healthy. The government is not keep me alive, I am.

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Posted by Steve
a resident of Birdland
on Nov 25, 2009 at 12:12 pm

As I stand back and watch and listen to both sides weigh in, it just seems so obvious that the gov't has no business telling people they must have health insurance, when they themselves have created what they perceive is a problem. And for people like Rae who believe that your employer pay for it is an absolute ignorant and asinine comment. Since when was it an employers responsibility to pay for your health insurance. Employers offer health insurance as a way of attracting employees. So if you think along the lines of certain responders, then employers should also be paying for my car insurance (I have to drive to work), my homeowners/renters insurance (since they pay my salary, I can afford to live with a roof over my head) and while we are at it, why not earthquake insurance for my home(we do live in CA). I myself had a major medical issue in the past, though I have insurance, it still did not cover 100% of the bills. I owed for the rest. I'm still paying my portion off, but no complaints or cries of socialists medicine from me, as I know it is my responsibility. It's also ignorant to state that just because someone has no insurance, they can not get medical help. Personally, I know of two situations right now where people with no insurance have been helped with out paying a dime. One involves a major medical problem involving intense medical procedures for the past 15 months, all paid for by the county and state, and one where an unemployed girl was given free medical care for the birth of a child. It is so frustrating listening to people who want and enjoy the freedom to pick and choose the stores they shop at, the cars they buy, the neighborhood they live in, their career choices, the restaurants they eat at, the schools they send their kids to, etc, etc. And yet, they want the government to decide how our healthcare is dispensed? Seems to me that they would know whats better for their family instead of the government telling them whats better. As Bruce said, be responsible for yourself and your family. Don't expect someone else to be.

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Posted by ObaOba
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Nov 25, 2009 at 12:22 pm

Easy to say when you can afford it.

It's obscene for a rich industrialized country not to offer Universal Health Care.

Anyone who doesn't think so is selfish.

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Posted by Arroyo
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Nov 25, 2009 at 1:34 pm

Safety net - Yes. Universal government controlled mandated healthcare - NO! Selfish - No! Hate bureaucracy and government control - Yes.

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Posted by rs
a resident of Pleasanton Valley
on Nov 25, 2009 at 1:38 pm


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Posted by Resident
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Nov 25, 2009 at 1:40 pm

I got a phone call this past weekend, someone from Organizing for america, asking me to thank McNerney for his vote.

Like I told the person, I will NOT thank McNerney because:

1) He voted for the bill even though it had restrictions on abortion.

2) The cost of the bill, especially now with all the debt and recession, is simply not a good idea

3) The penalties and taxes are not something I am happy about...didn't Obama say we would not raise taxes and the bill would in the long run save money? Maybe Obama needs to go back to Math 101, so he can understand that there are no savings in this bill, this is only adding to the already out of control deficit.

4) The list goes on but like I told the person who called: go online and read the bill before acting so happy and in support of it!

McNerney: I cannot thank you because you are not representing our interests. Next time you are up for re-election, I will not vote for you. In fact, the health care bill you helped pass may well be why in 2010, we may see more republicans voted in (remember 1994?)

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Posted by Steve
a resident of Birdland
on Nov 25, 2009 at 4:40 pm

Yes ObaOba, I'm selfish. Actually, selfish would have been to tell the Dr's and hospital I would not pay my portion that insurance did not cover and left it up to you the taxpayer to make up. Selfish would have been to not carry insurance even though I could afford to and let you the taxpayer pay for it. We already have a "universal" health care system in place, its just not called that. But then, thats easy for me to say, because I apparently can afford to pay for it with my taxes.

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Posted by Brenda
a resident of Birdland
on Nov 25, 2009 at 4:56 pm

There will be a mass exodus from CA. IF there is an opt-out, it's by state...left up the that state's legislature. In CA that's even scarier, given that stupic CA voters give us the worst legislature in the US. They're all on the take from the PUBLIC employee unions. This is the state that is willing to sacrific the middle class, forcing them to provide education & a long list of services, to anybody that wants to be provided for. So there's no salvation from knowing the scum in the CA legislature would save our RIGHT to be FREE individuals charing our own course...whatever that might be. How can an individual that wants to provide for himself do that ? Instead that individual, in the false attempt to elevate others who don't provide for themselves, will just be reduced to their level. Oh goodie, we'll all be at the bottom...equally...regardless of EFFORTS. Definitely NOT the founders vision of INDIVIDUAL LIBERTY.

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Posted by Cheryl
a resident of California Reflections
on Nov 25, 2009 at 5:02 pm

Nice to know Cholo is happy with his Medicare...that's until the collapse. Medicare is bankrupt.

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Posted by Tom
a resident of Stoneridge Park
on Nov 26, 2009 at 11:32 am

There should be no government health care and no employer based health care. Everyone should buy their own insurance and if they can't they should just die. The poor and the middle class should just die! That would solve the climate problem, the employment problem, the education problem and of course the health care problem. If you can't afford to take care of yourself -- just die!

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Posted by Chuck Swanepoel
a resident of Mariposa Ranch
on Dec 3, 2009 at 2:02 pm

Chuck Swanepoel is a registered user.

I too could not thank our congressman for voting for the current legislation on healthcare. I have to agree with a few interesting points in comments entered so far. We do already have a form of "Universal Healthcare" as anyone can go to an emergency room and not necessarily have to pay. Our tax money funds that already. We all know that method isn't the most efficient one, but neither is the alternative being proposed. Nothing that I have yet to hear about with the government involved could be termed efficient. The selfish comment is also interesting and perhaps all of us are a bit selfish. Those that expects someone else to pay for their way seem selfish as well. I'm all for charity, but let us call it that, or are we now to concerned with the stigma of receiving charity. At least charity is volunteered and not forced or should I call taxes what they are: theft. What has happened to personal responsibility. Even if I couldn't afford it, succumbing to what the government tells me I can or can't do for my health means I am a slave to their whims. I do not speak for any party or organization when I say personally, give me liberty or give me death.

Posted by Name hidden
a resident of Ridgeview Commons

on Apr 26, 2017 at 6:59 pm

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