Letters to the Editor


POSTED: Saturday, September 12, 2009

Health reform needed quickly

I was one of the many working but uninsured Americans. I used to be covered by my employer's insurance, but after an emergency stay at the hospital, I was dropped from his insurance and told that I could continue working for him but only as an uninsured independent contractor. I did this for three years, during which time I had to pay hundreds of dollars for prescription medications and had to undergo two more hospital stays.

After the birth of my second child, I could no longer afford to work and pay my medical costs. I quit and went on Medicaid. This month I filed for bankruptcy as I have over $20,000 in past medical expenses. All of this could have been avoided through health care reform that included a public option. While I agree that Medicaid has many problems, speaking as a recipient, I am so very grateful for the excellent care that I now receive. Every day I pray that health care reform will be quickly passed so that every American now living without insurance will have access to the same basic care that I do, and so that I can have the luxury of getting back to work.

Lisa Ocean

Senior calls for health reform

I am a retired clergy who receives a minimal pension from my church and Social Security. I am writing because just like AARP, I support President Barack Obama's health care reform.

When I came to Hawaii, I thought that by enrolling with a private insurance company to supplement my Medicare coverage, I would be saving money. I learned later that I still have to pay $22 each time I see a doctor, and $22 each time I am referred to a specialist. So if I am scheduled to four specialists, I pay $109 in one month. That is not including the cost of prescription co-payments in spite of being a member of Medicare part D.

I know the new medical reform will not eliminate Medicare benefits. What I know it will do is to eliminate these private insurance companies that manage my Medicare; and at the same time eliminate my exhorbitant co-payments.

Eliminating these companies would reduce costs to the government by cutting down paperwork, rewarding better doctors instead of rewarding private insurance companies. More importantly, it would reduce my cost - no matter how small in the eyes of the insurance companies.

I and millions of seniors are some of the beneficiaries of the health care reform. Therefore I appeal to the Democrats who oppose it, and to the Republicans who have closed their eyes on it to think about us seniors, the poor, and the homeless of this country, who need your vote on this very important reform.

Lilia Lopez-Rahman

Public option must be included

Health care reform without a true public option is the insurance industry's dream. A strong public option - available on day one - is the only way to keep the insurance industry's greed in check.

Some in D.C. say that “;triggers”; are an acceptable compromise. In reality, a “;trigger”; is a way to actually kill a public option.

Triggers would only enact a public option if the insurance industry fails to meet standards that their lobbyists will inevitably design. And even then, Congress would have to specifically pass a public option again. It's a rigged game that will never let a public option see the light of day.

“;Co-ops”; are another unacceptable compromise. Co-ops are fake public options that will never be able to check the greed of the insurance industry. Our members of Congress can't support co-ops either.

Our members of Congress need to support only health care reform that has a strong public option. Anything without a public option isn't real reform.

Jan Lubin

Mandatory coverage wrong

Our Congress is getting worse and worse. Now they are thinking about penalizing anyone who doesn't have insurance. Did the insurance companies get to these politicians whom we voted for to represent us? First it was mandatory to have fire insurance to be in business when you rent a building. Insurance companies are set making money nowadays on just about anything except those we can decide to cover ourselves in different situations.

Francis K. Ibara

Rail briefings worth the time

I am a member of the Pearl City Neighborhood Board, and I've been attending all the city's rail station workshops to date, including the recent meeting on the Pearlridge station. It was well attended and our community got the opportunity to provide input, ask questions and learn all about rail. These meetings are very informative and the public gets a chance to be involved with this important infrastructure project that will change our city, which I believe, for the better.

I encourage everyone to attend these meetings and provide your input. It's also an opportunity to educate yourself so you can learn more about rail that is coming our way.

Cruz J. Vina Jr.
Pearl City




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