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POSTED: Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Public option is good thinking

Reading so many letters dealing with the health care reform issue puts a question in my mind: Why would anyone oppose the idea of a public option? Option of course means choice, something people usually like to have.

Most people already have private health care coverage, often with employer help. And the health care reform proposals will allow them to keep that coverage if they wish. But the minority who lack health care, usually for financial reasons, should have a choice of opting for government help before 65 (when government Medi-care helps to pay those bills). So could people in the already-covered majority if they wish, depending on who offers them the best medical coverage.

So why would anyone oppose people's right to choose? Follow the money: powerful private insurance and pharmaceutical companies who fear competition and finance political propaganda. Ah, big business, the same folks who brought us the recession. Clearly, reform is needed.

David Chappell

Kaneohe

Nobody's talking about drug prices

Every citizen by now has either seen, read or heard about the president's recent speech on the proposed health plan. It just amazes me that with all I have read and seen, for months now, regarding the government health plan, no one mentions the elephant in the room!

Every person who has ever had to purchase prescribed medications knows the prices in the United States are double, sometimes more, than other countries. Why? I ask myself. Could it be that the pharmaceutical companies are including the cost of advertising into the price of the medication? Or could it be that the lobbyist has to be paid?

Another point I ponder: Hawaii requires that generic drugs be used whenever available. How is it that some of the drugs that have generics available are not being issued to the consumer? Or, when I ask the pharmacist, are not available?

My training has taught me never to make recommendations for change, without giving examples of solutions.

First: Open all borders, national and international, allowing consumers to purchase insurance and/or medications from anywhere they wish; after all, consumers are responsible for their own health.

Second: Stop all pharmaceutical advertising on radio and TV, and remove lobbyists' influence from our paid representatives.

Dolores Bledsoe

Honolulu

Boorish behavior simple to rectify

Publicly calling the American president a liar is a discourtesy. When done by a U.S. congressman, like Rep. Joe Wilson, it is un-American. Apologizing doesn't excuse it. The fact that Sen. Harry Reid called, continues to call, and has never apologized for calling, President George W. Bush a liar doesn't justify it. Neither does failure of Democrats to apologize for booing President Bush at a joint session concerning Social Security.

Still, there is an excellent solution: March Rep. Wilson and Sen. Reid into a joint session as representatives of their party; require each to admit what they did was wrong and apologize for it; authorize them to apologize for similar past offenses by members of both parties; authorize them to promise that each party will, in the future, punish any such future discourtesy by a member; and tell other Congress members that those who refuse to endorse these statements with a standing ovation will be expelled from their party.

If Congressmen Wilson and Reid did this right thing, we'd remember them forever as heroes instead of as boors.

George L. Berish

Honolulu

               

     

 

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