Letters to the Editor

Monday, June 29, 2009 at 11:00pm

Health care for America now

I went to [Washington,] D.C. last week and met with my congressman and senators to express the need for real health care reform and it was real productive.

Congressman Jim Cooper of the 5th district and my representative said he is in full support of President Obama and the plan for real health care reform to include the public option.

I also spoke with chief of staff to Sen. Lamar Alexander and a staffer of Sen. Bob Corker and found them open to the discussion of health care reform. Their positions are different from that of my Congressman but there is room for some common ground.

I told the stories of patients and friends who have been crushed by the burden of health care cost. I tried to show how vulnerable the middle class is to financial devastation when a health care crisis develops in their lives. I shared the stories of a friend of mine who had a traumatic brain injury and is now facing bills that are leading his family to financial ruins and how his health coverage and prescription cost are so expensive that he may loose everything he has worked for his entire life. His family will suffer all because our health care system is broken.

We can't miss this opportunity as citizens to get involved in shaping the health care reform debate. I am optimistic that a plan that includes choice, access and coverage for all will come out of the house and am hopeful that the senate can achieve the same.

I’m hoping as a registered nurse to see the future of health care improved so that patients are treated as people and not commodities. We as a nation have the opportunity to say that we value life not only in the womb but through out the span of ones life. We can do this, and should do this now, as it is long overdue.

Michael Chapman, RN,
37138

Submit letters by e-mail at letters@nashvillecitypaper.com

152 Comments on this post:

By: Blanketnazi2 on 6/30/09 at 9:38

Ben, what percentage of the time does that happen? .000001%?

By: BeenFranklin on 6/30/09 at 9:41

Ben you forgot the folks that just want some oxycodone to go with their beer. We have these folks and always will. The point again is we have to do something.

By: Blanketnazi2 on 6/30/09 at 9:41

Also, Ben - ambulance rides are not free.

By: BenDover on 6/30/09 at 9:43

To those who evoke Jesus to defend their political positions... Jesus would have us care for our fellow man... he would not have us do it through an inefficient, often corrupt and politically motivated bureaucracy. He would not have us STEAL the earning of someone else to do our definition of good. He would have us be directly and individually charitable (cutting out the fat and opportunistic government middle man)... but this is something that excessive taxation on the promise of caring for others robs from us.

By: Blanketnazi2 on 6/30/09 at 9:43

"The report, released by Health Care for America Now (HCAN), uses data compiled by the American Medical Association to show that 94 percent of the country's insurance markets are defined as "highly concentrated," according to Justice Department guidelines. Predictably, that's led to skyrocketing costs for patients, and monster profits for the big health insurers. Premiums have gone up over the past six years by more than 87 percent, on average, while profits at ten of the largest publicly traded health insurance companies rose 428 percent from 2000 to 2007."

http://tpmmuckraker.talkingpointsmemo.com/2009/06/healthcare_market_characterized_by_consolidation_n.php?ref=fpblg

By: Blanketnazi2 on 6/30/09 at 9:44

Far from healthy market competition, HCAN describes the situation as "a market failure where a small number of large companies use their concentrated power to control premium levels, benefit packages, and provider payments in the markets they dominate."

By: pandabear on 6/30/09 at 9:48

By: pandabear on 6/30/09 at 9:47
"By: Funditto on 6/30/09 at 8:32
I thought jesus said to help the least of us. and love one another."

Yep. He also told one of his followers to sell his cloak and
buy a sword. He also whipped the "vendors" in the house of God.

Maybe the message is that sometimes it's time to fight for what's right.
The greedy certainly aren't just going to "let" it happen are they ?

Freedom is not free.

By: Blanketnazi2 on 6/30/09 at 9:50

ninja jesus.

By: BeenFranklin on 6/30/09 at 9:50

Ben, Jesus the socialist??

The first step to answer this question is to define the terms. Much disagreement exists not because those arguing fundamentally disagree, but because they’re simply defining terms differently.

If by “socialist” one refers to a person who seeks to serve his fellow man with compassion and charity, and who spends his life voluntarily clothing the naked, feeding the hungry, liberating the captive, educating the ignorant,
and caring for the sick and afflicted, then yes, Jesus Christ was a
socialist and we should all strive to be socialists.

by “socialist” one refers to a person who justifies using force to steal from one person or group of people to give to another, then Jesus Christ was the furthest thing from a socialist.

BUT ALAS THAT BRINGS US TO THE WORD CONSERVATIVE AND WHETHER THAT MEANS SELFISH!

By: house_of_pain on 6/30/09 at 9:52

Pirate Jesus.

By: BeenFranklin on 6/30/09 at 9:52

Consider the following excerpts from the Bible:

Matthew 19: 16 - 21
16 And, behold, one came and said unto him, Good Master, what good thing shall I do, that I may have eternal life?
17 And he said unto him…if thou wilt enter into life, keep the
commandments.
18 He saith unto him, Which? Jesus said, Thou shalt do no murder, Thou
shalt not commit adultery, Thou shalt not steal, Thou shalt not bear false
witness.
19 Honour thy father and thy mother: and, Thou shalt love they
neighbour as thyself.
20 The young man saith unto him, All of these things have I kept from my
youth up: what lack I yet?
21 Jesus said unto him, If thou wilt be perfect, go and sell that thou
hast, and give to the poor, and thou shalt have treasure in heaven: and come
follow me.

Luke 6:35-38
35 But love ye your enemies, and do good, and lend, hoping for nothing again; and your reward shall be great, and ye shall be the children of the Highest:
for he is kind unto the unthankful and to the evil.
36 Be ye therefore merciful, as your Father also is merciful.
37 Judge not, and ye shall not be judged: condemn not, and ye shall not be
condemned: forgive, and ye shall be forgiven:
38 Give, and it shall be given unto you; good measure, pressed down, and
shaken together, and running over, shall men give into your bosom. For with
the same measure that ye mete withal it shall be measured to you again.

Matthew 25:34-46
35 For I was an hungred, and ye gave me meat: I was thirsty, and ye gave me drink: I was a stranger, and ye took me in:
36 Naked, and ye clothed me: I was sick, and ye visited me: I was in prison,
and ye came unto me.
37 Then shall the righteous answer him, saying, Lord, when saw we thee an
hungred, and fed thee? or thirsty, and gave thee drink?
38 When saw we thee a stranger, and took thee in? or naked, and clothed thee?
39 Or when saw we thee sick, or in prison, and came unto thee?
40 And the King shall answer and say unto them, Verily I say unto you,
Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye
have done it unto me.

By: BeenFranklin on 6/30/09 at 9:53

SORRY TO GO ALL CHRISTIAN ON YA'LL!!

By: BeenFranklin on 6/30/09 at 9:54

trans gender Jesus - Jezuss

By: Dragon on 6/30/09 at 9:54

and forcing someone to be responsible for their own health may be necessary.
Like auto insurance a young person might just carry the minimum and as they get older might want to get more coverage.

That way the insurance companies are not as threatened.

Been, I absolutely agree. One solution is to do away with insurance pools and networks, making individuals responsible for their own insurance. That would be the free market solution and one I would support.

By: pandabear on 6/30/09 at 9:54

"Alas". Do people really use that word ?

By: Blanketnazi2 on 6/30/09 at 9:55

By: BeenFranklin on 6/30/09 at 9:54
trans gender Jesus - Jezuss

AWESOME!

By: BeenFranklin on 6/30/09 at 9:59

Dragon I think at least as far as health care is concerned we might consider getting rid of "for profit" hospitals and healthcare insurance providers. But that is a huge fight. And I believe there is a simpler start.

By: slacker on 6/30/09 at 9:59

bear, I use forsooth frequently.

By: Dragon on 6/30/09 at 9:59

Monday, June 29, 2009 - Twenty-six percent (26%) of Massachusetts voters say their state’s health care reform effort has been a success. A new Rasmussen Reports telephone survey in the state finds that 37% say the reform effort has been a failure, while another 37% are not sure.

http://www.rasmussenreports.com/public_content/politics/states_general/massachusetts/massachusetts_26_consider_state_s_health_care_reform_a_success

By: Dragon on 6/30/09 at 10:02

Been, saw a report last night saying that Canada is heading in the opposite direction. For-profits are being established, taking the people who can't wait a year for an MRI, etc. The pro-nationalist group blames them for syphoning the available doctors out of the government health system.

By: BeenFranklin on 6/30/09 at 10:06

Regardless what we do. The haves will and do in other counties the means to hire a doctor that does not mean we can stand by and do nothing.

And don't hire Michael Jackson's doctor!!

By: BeenFranklin on 6/30/09 at 10:09

As for the Mitt Romney plan, that does give is a platform to improve upon just as we should look at every state and nation for examples of what works and what need to be bettered.

By: BenDover on 6/30/09 at 10:12

Been... I'm a conservative but I don't consider myself selfish. I’m individually very generous in addition to the ridiculous tax burden I suffer. I just think it's ludicrous to funnel the wealth of society through an inefficient, often corrupt and politically motivated bureaucracy that did nothing to produce it... so that someone else can do their definition of 'good' with society's wealth without having made any sacrifice at all to earn it.

The collective spending via the theft of other people's earnings makes for undisciplined, naive and reckless spending policy that has no appreciation for the hard work and sacrifice that went into producing the wealth. It’s like a teenager with daddy’s credit card.

By: slacker on 6/30/09 at 10:13

Been, that's true, but congress will not debate a plan, they will pass the one proposed.

By: Dragon on 6/30/09 at 10:14

By: BeenFranklin on 6/30/09 at 10:09
As for the Mitt Romney plan, that does give is a platform to improve upon just as we should look at every state and nation for examples of what works and what need to be bettered.

Agreed but, we also should not repeat the examples that are shown not to work.

By: BeenFranklin on 6/30/09 at 10:18

And who's fault is that?? We as American for allowing it to happen. Government is not going away. And can be a very good thing. It can also be an awful thing. That is why we vote.

The problem we have now is that we only have two parties and they both are really the same.

And I was not calling anyone selfish or socialist, my point is how words without context could mean anything.

By: BenDover on 6/30/09 at 10:21

One thing that most people don't consider is that our market underwrites the rest of the price controlled world in the development of proceedures, devices and medicines. Without the promise of profit in our market many of these whiz-bang drugs and procedures we enjoy today would go undiscovered.

To dispose of the profit motive as evil is a shallow and short sighted view. The profit motive is a very strict task-master. The invisible hand (as Smith noted) is far superior as an economic carrot when compared the piles and piles of standard/andate sticks required to make government bureaucratic solution work.

The market system that responds to changes is far superior to a system that shuns the market out of an unfounded anti-profit bias. Again, the only reason other price controlled economies can make it work is because the US market has done the heavy lifting and paid for all the R&D.

By: BeenFranklin on 6/30/09 at 10:23

But do we have to be the ones paying for the worlds R&D??

By: BeenFranklin on 6/30/09 at 10:24

R&D that by the way is heavily subsidized with our tax dollars!!

By: BeenFranklin on 6/30/09 at 10:26

Most real R&D in the US is done in our colleges and universities not by pfizer.

By: Dragon on 6/30/09 at 10:27

Either fortunately or unfortunately, R&D is motivated by profit.

By: BeenFranklin on 6/30/09 at 10:30

For profit hospitals first business is to make a profit not to provide healthcare. In fact the more that they can charge and the least they can do is the business model.

By: BenDover on 6/30/09 at 10:32

The other solution would be to stop being the generous nation we are and withold our advances from any price controlled market.

Since it relates to life and death it's a political impossibility.

Many people see it as morally wrong to profit from something that can save lives. How else do you encourage the cycle of medical advancement though? I'm not going to go through 8 years of school and 4 years of residency so I can make the same thing I could working at McDonalds.

Who's going to continue MRI research or Drug development if there's no benefit to them for doing it? Who is going to take any risk of investment if there's no potential up-side?

By: BenDover on 6/30/09 at 10:37

There is nothing inherently wrong with for-profit hospitals. There would be much less access to hospital services without the profit incentive.

By: Kosh III on 6/30/09 at 10:38

BD:
"so that someone else can do their definition of 'good' with society's wealth ."

You mean as in using someone else's money(mine) to do the "good" of eliminating Saddam?

By: BenDover on 6/30/09 at 10:41

For profits have to operate more efficiently. Many state run facilities have limitations on liability... and the for-profits are in competion with the not-for-profits so costs are comparable. HCA has brought health care to much of rural Amercia that would have no hospital otherwise. Would they have bothered to develop such an efficient model that extends as wide as it does without an incentive for profit?

By: BeenFranklin on 6/30/09 at 10:41

A study of data from more than 26,000 U.S. hospitals covering outcomes of 38 million patients has shown that people treated in private for-profit hospitals in the U.S. have a greater risk of dying than those cared for in private not-for-profit hospitals.

http://www.buffalo.edu/news/5712

By: brrrrk on 6/30/09 at 10:44

idgaf said,

"Are you not familar with rationed care in CA and the UK? Are you not familar with the direction TnCare was headed?"

Rationed care? Really? And you don't think we have rationed care here? What do you call a system where the very best care goes to only those that can afford it or are lucky enough to have some sort of employment subsidized insurance (as long as they're willing to pay). And as for choice (which is something I keep hearing about), the only choice I have is to graciously accept the crappy insurance that my job subsidizes or go on my own and pay the huge cost out of pocket. That's a choice alright! On top of that, I keep hearing about how the government is going to tell me what doctor I can or can't see... gee, sounds like in-network or out-of-network to me (which is insurance lingo for "go see who we want you to see or pay out the ass for it"). And all the while we're paying as much as 25% overhead for all this great care? We're getting crap while the executives for companies like CIGNA fly around in corporate jets eating off of gold rimmed plates and gold plated flatware!

http://www.prwatch.org/node/8422

And at the same time, big medicine is defrauding us of billions of dollars...

http://www.sanders.senate.gov/news/record.cfm?id=315109

Maybe you're right... maybe government can't do any better! But it sure as hell can't do any worse!

By: BeenFranklin on 6/30/09 at 10:46

For-Profit Hospitals are Costlier Than Non-Profits

Investor-owned hospitals have 19% higher charges than non-profit hospitals, according to a study appearing today in the Canadian Medical Association Journal. The study, the most comprehensive analysis comparing for-profit and non-profit facilities, was carried out by a highly respected team of physicians and statisticians at McMaster University led by Dr. PJ Devereaux. That team had previously reported that investor-owned hospitals have 2% higher death rates.

http://www.pnhp.org/news/2004/june/forprofit_hospitals.php

By: dargent7 on 6/30/09 at 10:47

So Bend-O, as long as you're qualified to speak for Jesus, would He of signed off on the war in Iraq?

By: BeenFranklin on 6/30/09 at 10:48

The researchers, though based in Canada, used data from U.S. hospitals

By: BenDover on 6/30/09 at 10:50

"You mean as in using someone else's money(mine) to do the "good" of eliminating Saddam?"

Evidently your representative government thought he was a threat and that it was in the nations best interest to depose Saddam by force. 297 for - 133 against in the House. 77 for - 23 against in the Senate.

Now how does taking money out of my pocket to give it to someone else to buy political favor compare with deposing a manical dictator that an overwhelming majority of our representative government (and people at large) agreed needed to go?

By: house_of_pain on 6/30/09 at 10:52

Some of the R&D money does come from other countries.
My lab gets a pretty good chunk from Japan.

By: BeenFranklin on 6/30/09 at 10:55

House, just interested does that come from a company in Japan or from the Japanese government??

By: BenDover on 6/30/09 at 10:56

I'd happily pay 19% more not to stand in a DMV-like line at Obama General Hospital in favor of a for-profit. Was the cost properly indexed to the level of service?

By: house_of_pain on 6/30/09 at 10:57

Both. Their government provides money to the company for research.

By: BeenFranklin on 6/30/09 at 11:01

Ben, we understand you are anti-government however the American revolution was some time ago. And if you don't pay taxes they will put you in federally subsidized housing.

This issue is not about you it is about us the US citizenry working together to make our country better.

By: BeenFranklin on 6/30/09 at 11:03

House, useful information thanks.

By: brrrrk on 6/30/09 at 11:05

BeenFranklin said,

"This issue is not about you it is about us the US citizenry working together to make our country better."

GOD FORBID!!!!!!

By: BeenFranklin on 6/30/09 at 11:07

Here we go with God again!!