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HSA’s hidden costs
John Stossel (“Health savings accounts put consumer in charge of care, Oct. 6) presents a persuasive propaganda piece for the current administration’s efforts to defraud working people of their money. When the health savings account is empty, will the participants be eligible for Medicare, welfare, or emergency room care, services which they have avoided paying for with their health savings account? Or, will they be directed to a taxpayer-funded dying pit, equipped with taxpayer-funded burn bags, a taxpayer-funded Dumpster, and taxpayer funded incineration service? Mass burials are not allowed as they pollute the groundwater.
Think about it, and how it would affect you and your family and your next drink of water.
Congress earns coverage
As usual, Sam Coppersmith uses faulty liberal logic in his column (Opinion 2, Oct. 7). The fact that Coppersmith is hiding is that members of Congress receive the described health insurance because it is a benefit provided to employees of the government. If they were not employees of the government they would not receive the described health insurance benefit. Any American can apply for government employment if they want to receive the described health insurance benefits.
Does Coppersmith believe that the same health insurance benefits at the same cost should be available to everyone, whether an employee of the government or not? Coppersmith does not explain why non-employees should be eligible for the same benefits as employees. The most likely reason that Coppersmith wants to provide government benefits to non-employees is to make them wards of the state in order to better control them and garner votes for the Democrats.
Shoring up programs
As president of the American Osteopathic Association, I write to applaud the 225 House members who voted in favor of the “Children’s Health and Medicare Protection (CHAMP) ACT of 2007,” including Rep. Harry Mitchell. This legislation ensures access to health care for children and seniors alike. This legislation would ensure that a larger percentage of our nation’s children, seniors, and rural populations have access to health care services. In addition, it makes fundamental reforms to the Medicare program providing greater equity in payments between all providers.
In addition to improving access to health care for children, this legislation improves the Medicare program by stabilizing the flawed Medicare physician payment formula and addressing concerns to rural America. The Medicare provisions in the CHAMP Act will help to stabilize the Medicare system and to further ensure that our seniors have access to physicians.
There is certainly a fair amount of angst amongst some members of Congress as well as their constituents regarding cuts to Medicare Advantage (MA) programs. It is important to clarify that these so-called cuts are actually decreases in overpayments, not payments, to these plans. These overpayments are unjustified in a time where the Medicare program must shore up all the resources it can in order to continue serving the ever-growing senior population of our nation. Without a doubt, MA plans serve a need in many areas; however, MA plans should not continue receiving 12 to 50 percent higher payments than traditional feefor-service Medicare plans while providing few if any additional services to beneficiaries.
DR. PETER AJLUNI
PRESIDENT, AMERICAN OSTEOPATHIC ASSOCIATION
BLOOMFIELD HILLS, MICH.
No budget, no goal
In your Sunday edition, your headline of “Dems failing to meet own budget goals” (page A11) is laughable. The present administration has amassed more debt than the aggregate amount of debt incurred from George Washington until the beginning of the this administration’s term in office.
This nation is $9 trillion in debt and counting because of no-bid contracts granted to friends of the administration in the occupation of Iraq. The president has promised to veto any budget that would wreck his budget. What budget? This president continues to throw good money after bad to follow a failed foreign policy and refuses to expand health care insurance for children of low-income families.
It is not the Democrats that are failing to meet budget goals. It is that the present administration has no budget.
Where politics, science clash
When is “science” no longer science? In the case of global warming we indeed have a question worthy of scientific investigation. Joseph Nelson (Letters, Sept. 26) is absolutely correct. Climate swings, large ones, have happened naturally on earth for millennia. I also believe that Stan Bass (Letters, Sept. 28) is correct when he says we have detected a warming in the earth’s climate in recent years. What is in question here is the effect that mankind is having on climate.
Recent findings show that Mars has experienced rapid warming in recent years. Its polar caps are receding. There is also evidence of recent warming on Jupiter, Neptune and other bodies in the solar system. This fact suggests a solar cause for the warming and casts considerable doubt on the idea that mankind is the primary cause of global warming on Earth. Unfortunately this “fact” disagrees with the “man-caused” warming crowd and is thus rarely mentioned.
Disagreement is an essential part of the scientific method. It is a key component in the self-correcting character of science and an absolutely essential step on the quest to uncover genuine scientific truths. Every past major theory, when first put forth, had to stand up to tough scrutiny and skepticism. Unlike political opinions, however, scientific dissent must be backed up with verifiable hard facts.
Regarding the question of the man-caused component of global warming, there is plenty of disagreement and it based on sound fact. Instead of welcoming scientific dissent and dealing with the associated facts to bolster or diminish man’s role in this question, however, dissenters are dismissed. Even worse they’re called kooks, loons or deniers. When this attitude dominates, a new word describes the prevailing theory and that word is not “science.” Instead, the word is “propaganda.”