Pondering the Perspectives of The People. . .
*Disclaimer: I have changed some words in an effort to stay up to date with my opinion or current affairs. Those new words will appear in a different color... This one... It's supposed to be blue. Most recent edit: 8 November 2017... If ever this letter becomes a non issue I shall remove it to our Morgue (what old newspapers always called their back story info and stories that didn't make it to the front page usually filed with the corresponding past editions.
Sick Call 4 All*An Open Letter 2 Congress via my Senator
Health Care for All US People
I write to you with concern for our future and our current situation. I'm a military veteran and I talk to other military veterans. Here's my thoughts on the Choice program that the administration is so fond of praising. It may work for some, but not for others. The reason may be the area of the state where the veteran lives doesn't have many experts in the field needed who will participate in the program.. I just posted the following paragraph on Sen. Patty Murray's Facebook page and I thought I'd share these thoughts with you:
"Outrageous to think (that) one who's never suffered a day of want would (be able to) make such pronouncements on those who have never known a day of not worrying. It's time for REAL change in this country. This is not it. Health care doesn't have a thing to do with insurance. Veterans are being screwed, too. The new Choice (program) is not working for everyone. Some veterans can't locate doctors who will take the new Choice program because some doctors want more money than the program pays. This would be no surprise if it's based on the same fee structure as Medicare. It's why the system is failing. People who don't need are making decisions for those who are in need. Scandalous."
Recently, at the Veterans Hospital, I listened to a wife of a veteran at the Portland VA and she said that they couldn't get any doctors to see her husband because the doctors didn't want to accept the fees offered. She said the only people who are benefiting from the program is the middle man, the Choice providers, who are not providing anything, except fancy cards and instruction letters. This program is siphoning off much needed funding from our wonderful VA medical system (despite what many claim) that just needs a better, more stable funding source with a bigger budget. Some of the VA systems have been shown to be corrupt, but others not. Let's try not to throw the baby out with the bath water. Some streamlining could be helpful. Right now, stop with the austerity funding as that's just not working for veterans.
Here's one plan for improving our Health Care System:
Here's how it could work:
We all want to, and say it, so let's bring our troops home. Let's retrain them to treat citizens for their ills. Plan will be paid for using our extravagant defense budget. Provide full education to any person willing to sign up into US Medical Corps for a given number of years. It would be mandatory to serve. The details can be worked out. Intelligence tests will decide what level they can achieve. Military had excellent entrance exams in the 1970's and 1980's. Fine points should be easy to design. Think futuristic. Think kindness for everyone. It should work. Everyone gets health care. No one is forced to pay insurance or fined using the IRS when they don't pay. That was a terrible idea and who ever thought of that should be jailed. The Health Care for All is the way of the future, they do it in nearly every single country in Europe.
Remember the job training guarantee programs of the 1970's volunteer military? Job training is an important thing for those who are coming up out of high school. It's what drives most of them into the military, as in lack of opportunities. Our moral compass has gone hay wire. We need to have a reset. Let's practice doing good, instead of just doing.
Here's the way it should work. . . In the military ... if you are sick... First thing in the morning you report to Sick Call... at the infirmary... you're seen... you're treated and released, either for duty with a note, or to home for rest. If you're really bad, they send you in an ambulance to a hospital. These are clinics. Nothing is based on payment... there are no insurance companies to prey on the sick as is happening now. There won't be so many people going bankrupt over medical bills. America could be great if we base our world on compassion, not war.
Why can't we have something like this? I don't understand all the fuss... If you're rich and you want elective plastic surgery or elective extra anything... person pays for it. But, let's not forget eye care and for gosh sake's give us all dental care... if you want people to stop cigarettes you must make the mouth stop hurting... no wonder everyone is seeking out pain killers. The dental pain that so many People suffer with. Well, that's sad beyond words. It's certainly not very Christian to allow People to suffer in such a terrible fashion.
It's only fair that we begin to be treated for the years of money we put into the government with taxes. What does the People get back for their money? Well, let's start with health care. Most of us don't see the search stations at the airport as benefits.
You know, Sen. Merkley, since you once worked in the nuclear world, you are aware that the People have been exposed to all sort of pollutants and most certainly deserve to have their health care provided, WITHOUT PAYING. People know that all government workers, especially Congress, are provided with health care. Yeah, sure, it's a benefit of your job, and may be you pay something from your pay, but, I'm sure it's not the percentages that modest income people pay. So, who's picking up the tab for all those benefits? It's The People. So, The People deserve to have all that, too. Job, or no job. Let's stop pandering to "the children" as it's sounding condescending. Everyone needs a hand up. We need to stop thinking of it as a hand out.
Let's get this health care situation fixed and then we can talk about the Minimum Standard of Living. We can get there by ramping up another part of the Service Corps: it's the other constructive arm of the services: Army Corps of Engineers. Everyone agrees: All across the country we need to rebuild our roads, our bridges, our schools and hey, our hospitals and who do you think will build our community clinics? The Engineers! We don't mind working, Senator, if we have worthy goals with a map to get there. The money exists. It just must be spent in a thrifty and compassionate manner.
Prosperity. It's our birth right. To get there, let's take the Alturistic train, not the Austerity one. If we do, the world will be a better place. I rest my case.
Bridget E Smith
A few days after this letter, I received an email from my Congressman. Here's my response... after all, I was already quite fired up after having written the one above:
re: your August 5, 2017 email
Dear Congressman Earl Blumenauer,
You have a great idea there with the Renal patient care. Why it isn't already done this way is a mystery. Thanks for the innovative thinking.
On the whole, though, I feel you must drop the word "insurance" out of the healthcare equation or we will get no where. The way that our healthcare system is being run for profit is shameful and almost everyone knows it. It's a sham. We need to change.
Health care is not meant to be a profit horse. Our nation allows The People to be burdened with health care costs that most of the civilized world do not have to bear. Why is this?
We live in the richest country in the world, or so we've been told, but our citizens live in poverty and desperation while those in charge are having parties and cheerfully getting their teeth fixed while the general population look for ways to handle the dental pain. Imagine.
When will this be corrected? When will our Congress act as if the People deserve the same health care that Congress and other government employees receive. Time is way past. Now it is becoming more and more obvious to the whole world that our government is running a muck.
Our media is preferring to talk about Russia instead of the real issues. Besides it being a rouse and a red herring, when was the last time you heard anyone on mainstream media talk about how Russia sends our astronauts food and supplies to the ISS? We need to relax all this hype and get back to the business of serving the People.
I believe you're on the right track. I believe that the job must be insurmountable in some ways, but it must be done or else our country will continue in this depression era with homeless in dilapidated RVs lining the roads and shanty towns cropping up wherever there's a green space that isn't sloped more than 25 degrees. Portland is becoming a third world country and I can take you on a tour to show you what I mean. Medical bills are the last things these people can afford. So, forget the insurance. Letís have health care.
Bridget E. Smith, voter