Letters to the Editor

Jeff Jared's 'Obama care' opinion off the mark

I’m writing in response to Jeff Jared's opinion in the May 12 edition. I won’t bother to address each of his five points because they’re all essentially the same. “Obama care” is a misnomer. If a name must be given, “Obama insure” would be a better fit.

If you accept Jared’s logic, we all became communists when the first state government required drivers to have auto insurance. By the same reasoning, Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid are also communist. Really, the whole concept of insurance is based on a broad enough pool of people to provide protection against otherwise ruinous losses at a reasonable price. The larger the pool, the more affordable the insurance cost. The same is true for homeowners insurance and for health insurance.

The idea that helping those who can’t afford health insurance is an insidious transfer of private property (your money) is specious. Charity care provided by hospitals isn’t free – we all pay for it in terms of higher taxes or higher insurance premiums for businesses and individuals. It’s the same thing, except that the charity care usually costs more. The idea that those who think they’re healthy shouldn’t have to be in a pool is equally off the mark. If such a person falls off his skateboard, develops Hodgkin’s disease, or has some other expensive surprise, they would be unable to buy insurance and guess who would help pay. What the recent health insurance legislation tries to do is compensate insurance companies for eliminating some of the worst features of our current system (denying preconditions, annual caps, etc. by enlarging the insurance pool and helping those who need help to get insurance.) It replaces the “I got mine, how you doin’" idea with something a little more civilized.

Bob Thompson, Kirkland

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