Letter: Suggested rules for letter writers
After reading Jonnie Adams’s latest letter, might I suggest a list of Rules /Strong Recommendations for those writing Letters to the Editor here.
Rule One: You cannot make demonstrably untrue assertions about a specific act of legislation, and then when called on it, claim that you were not talking about that legislation.
OMG! The Horrors of Socialized Medicine Rule: You cannot say "just talk to someone who’s lived under socialized medicine" ... apparently intending that to mean those dreaded Europeans … until you’ve talked to, say, your mother or father or anyone aged 65 or over. Medicare isn’t perfect, but it works very well and is so popular that even Republican Congressmen rush to defend it. By any relevant metric it works better than private health insurance in terms of cost, outcomes and patient satisfaction.
Which leads to the "Republican Congressmen rule," which would try to impose a semblance of intellectual integrity on them. For if you listen carefully to them, Medicare for those aged 65 and older is to be defended at all costs but for those aged 64 and under would be a Communist Plot to Destroy America. The corollary: You cannot cite reports from "the Lewin Group" on the horrors of "Obamacare" without informing your constituents that the Lewin Group "think tank" is owned by a huge, for-profit health insurance company. Those who do this should just drop the pretense and register as health insurance industry lobbyists.
"Noun, Verb and Socialism!!! Rule": You cannot scream about how the nation is sliding into some kind of Socialist Hell while you are yourself collecting a taxpayer-funded pension, Social Security and Medicare. I don’t begrudge any writer a dime of any of that … I just wish you to be a bit more self-aware of your hypocrisy.
And finally the "We the People" Rule: You cannot claim that you want to repeal the health care act to put health care decisions back into the hands of "we the people" unless you are one of the people who is a health insurance company executive or major shareholder. There is always going to be someone between you and your doctor. And, at present, unlike all other developed nations in the world, in the United States that’s a bean-counter at a for-profit insurance company who is paid a bonus for saving the company money by denying coverage. It’s not a bunch of fuzzy bunnies who want the very best for you and your loved ones.
An insurance company’s first obligation is to their shareholders, not their policy-holders. Which is why, until the passage of "Obamacare," they could deny coverage for pre-existing conditions, deny treatments at will, drop you after years of premium payments because you suddenly became expensive to them. It’s not personal, it’s just business. It gets very personal when it’s you or your family, however.
I’m all in favor of the individual mandate, and so were Republicans just a few years ago. Mitt Romney used it in Massachusetts; Chuck Grassley proposed it to counter Hillary Care.
Without a mandate that gets all Americans on policies, all of us who pay for health insurance are getting socked with higher premiums covering the uninsureds’ visits to emergency rooms (and we don’t get the cost-reducing, leveling effect by getting all those immortal 20- and 30-year olds into the pool). As with car insurance, sometimes the government (which IS "We the People") forces individual responsibility on the otherwise irresponsible …which used to be a conservative/Republican principle until they lost their tiny minds.