A recent WYMT on-line poll asked the question: Should congress pass President Obama's health care bill? That question is sparking a great deal of debate across our country. Here are some of your opinions.
Phyllis Robinette from Harlan writes: No way!
Ryan Adams from Letcher County writes: We live in the richest country in the world yet everyday many people die simply because they can't afford to seek needed medical treatment. We as a country can do better and it's time we begin doing better.
Kathy Flanary Newman from Harlan writes: I agree with Phyllis. Take a look at Britain's universal healthcare and what it entails. Looks good on paper, however when physicians get paid regardless...they tend to do the least they can for the average patient. There are also long, long waiting lists for those waiting on important procedures. Not the way to go in my opinion.
Homer Fortney from Kingsport, Tennessee writes: With 32 years experience in the health care field and in an area of the country with a high number of Government subsidized patients, I can tell you that there is no way that the government can run or administer any kind of health care plan.
Rene King Thompson from Covington writes: I say yes. I have worked in social services and education for most of my life and have seen the effects of having no insurance. People end up waiting until a minor situation becomes life changing or life ending. The majority of individuals who have had to file for bankruptcy file due to medical problems.
Suggest you read this piece about healthcare in the industrialized world. The US has the most expensive healthcare yet it underperforms Australia, Great Britain, New Zealand, Germany and Canada, all of which have universal healthcare. All these countries beat us on infant mortality and life expectancy.
"Mirror, Mirror on the Wall: An International Update on the Comparative Performance of American Health Care". The Commonwealth Fund. May 15, 2007. http://www.commonwealthfund.org/Content/Publications/Fund-Reports/2007/May/Mirror--Mirror-on-the-Wall--An-International-Update-on-the-Comparative-Performance-of-American-Healt.aspx. Retrieved on March 7, 2009.
Kathy Flanary Newman from Harlan writes: Articles and statistics are interesting, but when you witness it first hand, you tend to get a clearer view of how it really is.
Ryan Adams from Letcher County writes: To those of you who say changing the way health care is ran is wrong, that the government should not be involved … I'm curious what you think the solution to this huge flaw in our country is?
My mother recently had her Gall bladder removed. She put off going to the hospital for years because she could not afford treatment. It eventually got to the point that she had to go to the emergency room after not going to a doctor at all for over 30 years (because she felt she could not afford it). A friend of mine is a surgeon and he did the procedure for $250.00 plus the costs from the hospital. Had it not been for his generosity she would have probably laid at home and died.
Kathy Flanary Newman from Harlan writes: I agree there should be something in place for those who are not on government subsidies and those who do not get insurance benefits from their employer. The people who fall between the cracks deserve a helping hand more than any other for sure! The problem with having universal healthcare opens up a whole new can of worms.
My mother died without having insurance and I wonder if she would still be with us had preventative measures been taken. I know there is a need for a certain population. I just disagree with universal healthcare because I feel that the medical community will become lax (not all) but in most cases there will be a back log of so many patients needing so much that there will not be enough "good" qualified doctors to take care of the need.
I just think it will be a mistake. Fix what needs fixing... and this is cliché' but... don't re-invent the whole wheel!
Duane Nettlesbey from Los Angeles, California writes: Bill Moyers had a special that showed how heath insurance companies take their customer's premiums for years, but when the customer gets sick, they find a way to deny paying for treatment by saying the customer falsified information on their application. So basically, you're paying for nothing. That's what's wrong with America's health care system. Crooked corporations.
Rene King Thompson from Covington writes: Kathy, my mother put off going to the doctor because it was "too expensive" because of lack of coverage. She went through a hell no human should have to go through until the cancer brought her down to 65 lbs. and had broken through the skin. I lobby for universal healthcare because I don't want any other person to have to go through that just because they are poor.
I look at the documentation from numerous sources and I fail to see the laxity you fear. If it increases the need for health care jobs, so be it - that's more employment that is desperately needed. The majority of the backlog you speak of can be dealt with by PA's who can do triage ascertaining which patients need immediate care.
Universal healthcare has been successful in Europe for decades and I say that based on their infant mortality and life expectancy. The decision is to stick with the broken wheel because it's familiar or go with one that has been rolling successfully for decades.
Kathy Flanary Newman from Harlan writes: Rene, my mother did the same thing. I feel that is a major reason for her death at such a young age of 63.
Like I said earlier, I do agree that there should be some kind of program for those who fall in the "cracks" of our current healthcare system. I guess two years ago I would have agreed with your views and those of many others.
However, my mother in law who lived in England all her life, actually my husband and his whole family are from there. I have visited England several times. I know by what common residents of that country are saying is happening. And what ultimately happened to my mother in law.. (she died with cancer as well). I respect your opinion, and will not argue the point, I just wanted to voice the reasons for my view.
Thanks again to everyone that submitted comments and there is still time for you to voice your opinion.
As always, thanks for making WYMT-TV your source for news and information. We appreciate your trust.
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