Letters to the Editor 9/9

Fix the system we have, without government

In the Sunday, Aug. 30, paper there appeared a commentary from Ed Epperson, CEO, Carson Tahoe Hospital. I have spent 37 years in health care, I totally agree with him on his raised points. I was not involved in direct patient care, mine was administrative and support to patient care providers. We were aware of the items he raised and these are not restricted to just one hospital but almost all nationwide.

One thing that I dealt with was being in compliance with local, state and federal government requirements. Just keeping up on these is a full-time job for a staff.

One thing he pointed out was the cost of pharmaceuticals, medical devices and equipment. To be honest, it is hard to shop around for less costly items. Once you have a medical provider tag on you, in my opinion, the cost of business seems to go up. These are areas where the government could step in and reduce the cost of care.

They could do something about TORT reform, and allowing health insurance companies to shop across state lines. Make it competitive. We know that hospitals are competitive and try and out-do the others.

Drug companies have tons of TV commercials and that has to cost a bunch of money and who do they pass it on to, you and I and our insurance company.

Let's fix the system we have and keep the government out of our private lives. Write your representative and tell them so.

Bill Pyatt


Do you want health care run like a business?

Who do you want to make decisions about your health care: (1) A business person who is out to make a profit on your illness (motivated by bonuses and stock options to deny or ration your coverage and reduce payments to doctors and hospitals), or (2) a well-paid and educated government employee who is motivated to make sure you get the medical coverage you are entitled to, and the huge buying power to negotiate low rates?

The people who see socialism vs. capitalism as black or white, always good or always bad, are over-simplifying things. There are gray areas where services or programs are either too expensive and/or critical to life and safety to be run by profit-driven private enterprise.

Do you think private enterprise could or should be in charge of the military, police, fire departments, highways/roads, Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (insures your bank deposits), sewers, Medicare, NASA/space program, state universities, monitoring our food, drug, and water supplies, dams, public schools, air traffic control system, national/state parks, post office, etc.? These are government-run programs ('socialistic') that serve us well.

If you agree that a public health insurance option is worth investigating (you are not required to buy it), call your federal representatives: Dean Heller, congressman 1-775-686-5760; John Ensign, senator, 1-877-894-7711; and Harry Reid, senator, 1-866-736-7343, and tell them you are one of their constituents and that you want the option of being able to get government-run Medicare-type health insurance.

Lee Johnson



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