Health care cost cure: single payer
Dr. Kevin Kavanagh, a leading Kentucky advocate for transparency in health-care costs and outcomes, writes in a recent commentary that Medicare-for-all might be the solution to our financing woes.
I support going to a single-not-for-profit payer system and eliminating for-profit health insurance companies. These unneeded middlemen must be eliminated if health care costs are to be controlled.
Twenty percent to 30 percent of the premium dollar goes for their profits and overhead.
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A single-payer system could do it for 3 percent overhead — what our single-payer system for seniors does now. The Affordable Care Act (a misnomer if there ever was one) merely forces us to buy a private, inefficient, expensive product.
I am thankful for Gov. Steve Beshear's Medicaid expansion, but his reliance on private (for the most part) companies to "manage" (read: "deny") health care is robbing hospitals and other providers of rightful compensation and merely increasing the private companies' profits.
Anthem, an Indiana-based insurer, recently announced record profits, which leave our rural facilities teetering on the brink of insolvency.
One only has to look at Auditor Adam Edelen's recent in-depth report for verification of their poor financial health. Our people deserve better. It can be done. Medicare for all. Easy.
Ewell G. Scott, M.D.
Power, not people
Congratulations to the Herald-Leader for publishing E. Joy Arnold's informative and valuable commentary. Arnold is correct. Corporations are not, and never were, people. She writes about history, but even more important and alarming, is what lies ahead. Many corporations have stockholders who are not citizens and who have no interest in the fate of Americans beyond maximizing profits.
For readers antagonistic to government (at all levels), add multinational corporations to your list of dubious actors. We elect people to political office. We can remove them. Not so with corporations. Unless you are a major stockholder, you have power to do nothing.
Plan before spending
Aside from the 20th-century public policy disregard for additional carbon in Earth's atmosphere, another obvious side-effect eludes the study area for downtown two-way traffic.
By converting North Limestone back to horse-and-buggy two-way, aren't we segregating the East Loudon Avenue corridor, especially on "this" side of the railroad tracks? An outcome certainly no one in the downtown boutique district would desire. Even as there is fire in the britches at the Herald-Leader, why don't we slow down long enough to include the East Loudon corridor in this initiative? As with many things, we might find some economy of scale for this more inclusive planning before public funds are expended, again.
Teaching gun safety
Regarding a letter writer's comments on Tim Farmer of Kentucky Afield educating his granddaughters on hunting and gun safety: Well, I am fairly speechless. I guess everyone has a right to their opinions, but if what he was watching bothered him, he should have changed the channel.
As for me and my family, which includes a 7-year-old grandson whom we are teaching gun safety, we make it a point to watch the show. Keep up the great work.
Help heroin users
We are losing a lot of young people to heroin addiction, and unless they get some help, they will most likely die from it. It's important to know that once you start using, you can't help yourself from continuing to use.
If you know someone who is using, step in, say something, do something. It may be fruitless but you just might save their life.
David Michael Stephens
Told you so
Oops! Another one of President Barack Obama's favorite money advisers, Warren Buffett, had a train tip over and catch fire. And still, Obama fights labor-intensive pipeline construction. Could there be a connection? Think so? If one of the 100-car oil trains tips over near Reynolds Road, who do we blame? I don't want to be the one that told you so, but I told you so.