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An Independent Voters View on Health Care Reform

Updated on October 24, 2010

What We're afraid of....

We know you can do better...
We know you can do better...

Dear Mr President, and The Congress of The United States

I recently attended a town hall style meeting in Savannah Georgia conducted by my congressman Mr Jack Kingston, (R) Ga. While it did not degenerate into a shouting match at any point, there was in fact a fair bit of emotion shown by those attending. I do believe the current administration and house and senate leadership have found another third rail in the political realm here.

As an independent voter I am not particularly tied to any party but lean conservative in most things. I think it’s partly a function of my age, and partly my discovery of a freedom to vocalize support or non support of political ideology that for so many years was repressed (by necessity) in the Military. I’ve had bones to pick with both parties at different times, but if you want a gauge of my politics I think the two best presidents of the 20th Century were Ronald Reagan and John F Kennedy, both of whom I consider to be in the Top Five of all time. When I vote I ask myself who, of the candidates, do I think will do what’s right for the country, not necessarily right by me, or in their personal interest, but when the chips are down what’s right for the country.

With that in mind I say to the members of the House of Representatives, you’d better be glad you’ll get a chance to do a reconciliation bill with the Senate; because to be honest with you, HR 3200 appears to create more problems than it fixes and reeks of ill advised political dogma. Now to be fair, the other side is sending out ambush email that is attributed to, a site that doesn’t exist (more Urban Legend). Correction: Apparently had some network problems while doing my research Sorry economic policy journal, The site does exist but I still could not find the substance of the email on this site. This email tends to generate an awful lot of hostility but does ask some painful questions. If the house committees that wrote it (HR 3200) placed a bit more of the interests of the country ahead of their politics I am certain it would have come out better.

Now it’s the Senates turn and I will update this after it comes out of committee. I hope they do a better job; and it is to them I offer the following advice.

Most of America do recognize the need for some reform in the system. But we will not stand for another bureaucracy to support a mediocre program. IF you really feel the necessity to do that, use one you already have in place and let more people in on it. Say for instance Medicaid. Just means test it differently and set some premiums state by state. Then if say California wants to include illegal immigrants well they’ll have some incoming premiums to help pay for it. No need to change or create a new bureaucracy; just tweak that one. That will appease the insurance lobby cause then like Medicare and Tri Care programs they can create a supplemental plan that folks will have to pay extra for.

You could do the same with say Tri Care (The Military Health Insurance Program) by including more people in the programs you would significantly reduce the subsidized military premiums, and maybe even our supplemental premiums. Yes folks, for those of you that didn’t know Military Health care is not always free. This is the one that really has the most potential to add to the regional exchanges (a good Idea) since it is subsidized by the Government but managed by Civilian Health Care Insurers under contract. You already have the regions set and the inclusion would only add marginally to the bureaucratic costs, might even generate some savings by inclusion.

Mr Senator, you had better require every member of congress and their staff to join whatever plan you come up with. Folks, that’s called leading from the front. If you want more choices for yourself and your family that’s fine. Just not on my dime. That will be required for my future vote. Or you could just open up the federal employee benefit plan to all, (regional exchanges might still be viable) and let more insurers compete in that market place. If the Law doesn’t allow that now; change it; that’s what you’re there for.

What ever you decide, the fundamentals are this, we want good coverage, done by private insurers, (subsidized for the American Citizens or Legal Residents that can’t afford it otherwise, (think Vouchers)). We still think our employers should be the primary avenue of access, but allow them to keep the insurers competitive by access to the regional exchange. End of life care decisions need to be made by families, in private or in consultation with the doctor they trust. You can not let that be a government decision by proxy.

Mr. President you could help too by engaging Governments like Canada that have strong armed our pharma companies into providing generics before the patent runs out. If there was one world price for say, Darvon, the patent could be shortened and everyone would be equal in access and cost. Additionally sir, while we recognize the need for reform, like dropping pre-existing condition clauses, we want it done in an American way. If you look carefully overseas you find that the single payer systems are mostly disasters waiting to happen, and they do happen regularly when people need the care the most. Even the best of them (single payer systems France for example) have to have supplemental private plans to get good managed affordable care! Now if they are so good why do they need a supplement? Why do folks I know that have to use these plans go to private doctors when they can afford to? So put those comparisons away and cherry pick what they do right and help our insurers privatize it. Subsidize medical technology and the technical security so our records are secure and private. We independent voters are focused on your promise to do it better in a cost efficient way. Be prepared to veto the first attempt, If you do so President Obama; I promise to keep the pressure up on my reps to make a good program even if it takes till next year or the year after.

Finally to the Democrats in the house, you may want to consider new leadership; HR 3200 is a ‘camel’ of a plan. A camel is horse designed by committee, the result being its a creature, that ultimately gets the job done, but unlike a horse, is ugly, eats more food, drinks more water, makes you seasick when you ride it, is mean spirited, stubborn and bites the hand that feeds it. It’s a shame the various committees and the speaker ever let this crap see the light of day. Get with the Senate this fall and fix this stuff…

While I am an Independent voter, and because I'm an independent voter, I only claim to speak for myself. However I would remind you that there are more of us than either of the political parties can claim for membership. If an old Army Non Commissioned Officer thinks this way I'd bet there are a fair few others that do as well. By the way, I’ve got some thoughts on Cap and Trade get back to you on that one soon

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    • profile image

      Larry Wall 

      5 years ago

      I know you wrote this awhile back and conditions have changed. I understand your concerns, but the big advantage to Obamacare is that you are guaranteed that you will be able to purchase some level of insurance and if you cannnot other assistance will be offered. I just came home from a hospital stay that will cost about $20,000. My wannabe limited indemnity insurance may pay $6,000--depending how they count the days. The rest I am going to have to pay. I am in this fix because I lost my job of 22 years, with no explanation, but a generous severance check and one-year of COBRA. I could not convert the COBRA to an individual policy because the company that wrote the group policy did not write individual policies in my state. I could not buy other quality insurance because of pre-existing conditions--none of which had anything to do with my last hospital visit.

    • Hmrjmr1 profile imageAUTHOR


      7 years ago from Georgia, USA

      JMlawhwad - you are correct it should be both portable and affordable. But the Government is not likely to make it either. Thanks for commenting.

    • jmlawhead profile image


      7 years ago from Colorado

      Good post. I agree with alot of what you said. Insurance needs to be affordable. People should not be penalized for not having it, because most times, it's because they cannot afford it. I remember when the majority of employers offer it to employees as a benefit. And it should get back to them offering it. Part of the reason for them not, is expense. Plus also the number of people who don't stay with their employer. And that's another topic. but the whole thing is affordability for the insurance, doctors offices, hospitals, etc. People should not have to decide between health care or feeding their families or paying their bills. Those debates shouldn't have to exist, except if it's for elective medical care.

    • Hmrjmr1 profile imageAUTHOR


      7 years ago from Georgia, USA

      Thanks for stopping by Alex - Well they didn't listen to my advice so we now have a monstrosity that is going to be ruled unconstitutional. What a bunch of clowns.

    • Alexander Mark profile image

      Alexander Silvius 

      7 years ago from Portland, Oregon

      You certainly seem to know all about the details - I have not thought that deeply about it except generally and morally.

      Here are my thoughts on your thoughts: In my experience, employer provided health insurance is not in the best interest of the insured. I have never received quality care under any of my employer's plans. The only benefit I see is that it is less expensive than carrying your own insurance.

      Neither is government mandated and controlled insurance the solution, and I heartily agree with you about vouchers. The truth is we are already paying into health care via taxes, so why give my choice and money to employers who dole it out according to their own penny pinching budgets? I'd rather pay for it myself. Either that or give me control over where the money goes.

      McCain had a great proposal when he was running for president, it was a great middle of the road solution between government control and affordability.

      I am not totally against socialized medicine in principle, but the problem of course is when the government wants to start cutting expenses, we have no more say in how medical insurance is regulated.

      Great hub, thanks!

    • Hmrjmr1 profile imageAUTHOR


      9 years ago from Georgia, USA

      Thanks Tammy I will be updating soon to include the Senate version. Appreciate your stopping by!

    • profile image

      Tammy Lochmann 

      9 years ago

      Very well informed intuitive article. I really enjoyed this.

      Tammy :-D

    • Hmrjmr1 profile imageAUTHOR


      9 years ago from Georgia, USA

      great american - Thanks for stopping by! I wouldn't start the hold your breathe till its done exercise any time soon! Thats an Amendment I would support. Thanks my friend.

    • greatAmerican profile image


      9 years ago

      Mr Senator, you had better require every member of congress and their staff to join whatever plan you come up with. Folks, that’s called leading from the front.

      Someone on the net has suggested this 28th amendment..

      Congress shall make no law that applies to the citizens of the United States that does not apply equally to the Senators or Representatives, and Congress shall make no law that applies to the Senators or Representatives that does not apply equally to the citizens of the United States.

      Do you think congress would be in a hurry to pass this one and stay up til midnight on a Saturday!

    • stars439 profile image


      9 years ago from Louisiana, The Magnolia and Pelican State.

      Good Luck. Great Article. God Bless

    • stars439 profile image


      9 years ago from Louisiana, The Magnolia and Pelican State.

      Good Luck. Great Article. God Bless

    • Hmrjmr1 profile imageAUTHOR


      9 years ago from Georgia, USA

      Habee - It must have something to do with 'Great Minds' eh? Thanks!

    • habee profile image

      Holle Abee 

      9 years ago from Georgia

      Wow, John. We really think a lot alike. Thumbs up, my friend. I'm a moderate conservative or a conservative moderate. I vote republican more often, but I have voted for democrats. I also loved Ronnie! He had horses! lol

    • Hmrjmr1 profile imageAUTHOR


      9 years ago from Georgia, USA

      Things Considered - Thank you for your views here. Some interesting reading and proposals. Though I remain convinced that the government is not the best manager of such a program. There are many issues in Medicare that are on a low heat burner that will start to bubble up in the next couple years that probably would be accelerated with such a plan.

      I had my peeps over last night to watch the speech and our unanimous reaction was "Sounds promising, I want to read the legislation first though" So it remains to Be Seen...

      Thanks again my friend..

    • Things Considered profile image

      Things Considered 

      9 years ago from North Georgia Foothills

      You raise a couple of good points. I have I think different reasons for not being happy with HR 3200, and I'm not at all against utilizing a government payor system.

      Honestly, I think that what I think would be best would be to slowly open up medicare to everyone, but don't start with the older people, start with the younger people, the twenty somethings. This way you're creating more of a balanced risk pool. One of the reasons Medicare struggles is because old people get sick alot, and so they're very expensive. Eventually open the darn thing up to everyone, at lower costs than the private insurers to encourage people to join, and enact a law stating that if you don't join by the time you're 30, it will cost you more when you do. Don't join by the time you're 40, forget it, no medicare for you -ever. Buy your own on the private market. Of course at the same time, subsidies for the poor, nearly poor, and practically poor.

      This way those people who hate the idea of socialized medicine, don't have to participate. They can pay the private insurers or get limited emergency care through medicaid I guess, same as the illegal immigrants.

      One exception, veterans. On the house, baby, on the house.

      The problem is we feel obliged to cover all these people who need healthcare, we just end up with the high risk pool. We need more live bodies, who pay.

      Don't mandate it, don't penalize people who don't want to play, just let them not play. Create a system where it is available to everyone, and then we've done the right thing without stepping on anyone's liberties, and we haven't broken the bank, and we've freed employers to run their businesses competitively against foreign companies without the burden of healthcare. I honestly don't believe it is employers' responsibility.

      In the end, yes, my personal proposal would eventually bring so many Americans to sign up because they know if they don't then they won't get it when they're older either. This will effectively change the private insurance market. Doesn't make me cry.

      In the meantime there will be holdouts who refuse to sign up till it's too late and they can no longer afford private healthcare. Naturally we'd grandfather some people in. But those who had plenty of warning and refused to be part of it can rest on their principles. I may shed a tear or two for them, but I won't lose any sleep.

      Interesting hub you've got here, I look forward to reading more!

    • Hmrjmr1 profile imageAUTHOR


      9 years ago from Georgia, USA

      Thank You my friend

    • MNichopolis profile image


      9 years ago from Massachusetts

      Many many good ideas, well said. Big bumps up.

    • Hmrjmr1 profile imageAUTHOR


      9 years ago from Georgia, USA

      Glad you liked them both Wealthmadehealthy..

    • Wealthmadehealthy profile image


      9 years ago from Somewhere in the Lone Star State

      This is an excellent hub and I agree with it all. Thanks for sharing your personal views with us all!! Those cookies are great by the way!!!

    • Hmrjmr1 profile imageAUTHOR


      9 years ago from Georgia, USA

      Thank You Ma'am for your comment, Make sure you pass along your thoughts to your Rep's and the President it's the only way the independent voice is heard. God Bless

    • M. Rose profile image

      M. Rose 

      9 years ago from Orange County, CA

      I enjoyed reading a fellow Independent voter, I agree with a lot of it. Definitely agree with you on the single payer systems- people are going to want the option of private care because often it's better care. I think increasing competition and expanding existing programs (as you've said) could be more beneficial than a "one for all" kinda system. Thanks for sharing your opinions!


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