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What a wonderful waste of taxpayer dollars

Editor:
      What a wonderful waste of taxpayer dollars! Did anyone watch the president and his “friends” to the left and right at the big square table on Thursday? The “open and transparent” discussion about health care is a good reason that we have global warming. Nothing but hot air!
      In reality, here is what I believe America needs – and I would hope that others would write in and offer suggestions that don’t include giving even more of the power to Washington and produce even more government agencies.
      First, let us fix what is wrong with the health care industry. We need to change the way insurance is sold, making health insurance more competitive and able to be sold across state lines. Yes, this means that the states will have to get together and work on this too. However, once this is done, large groups of people can be brought together and the insurance companies can then offer group benefits for thousands of people not currently able to get group coverage.
      Tort reform is a must. As long as doctors and other health providers must carry prohibitively expensive insurance to cover for the normal dangers of providing treatment it will be almost impossible to reign in the costs. This is one area where the Obama Administration and the Democrats simply will not consider. Yes, there are examples of bad medicine, but this is a very small percentage of the doctors and with the current process, we are only making the lawyers (read “politicians”) rich.
      There needs to be honesty in the information being given by both sides of the aisle. The profit margin of Health Care Plans – according to an independent research group, is 3.3 percent. As a small business owner, I can attest that that is not a large margin. As a comparison, alcohol brewers have a 25.9 percent profit margin, wireless services (cell phones) have an 11.1 percent profit margin, and electric utilities average 6.1 percent. The point of this information is that the Democrats and President Obama are trying to show the insurance companies as the “bad guys” in the debate.
      Another important aspect of health insurance is keeping people well. This is such an important aspect, however no one seems to even consider it. If insurance companies would pay their insured – that’s you and me– for being healthy, America would be healthier and that would bring the costs down.
      To do that, there would be baselines, which already exist, that each of us would get 15 to 20 percent discounts for getting to and maintaining. This would start in primary school. America is too overweight and doesn’t get enough exercise. Start with pre-school and get kids into shape, teach them how to eat healthy, and bring physical education back as a requirement through all grades.
      It isn’t any one group that is at fault.
      The fault is with a system that has grown into the very best health care system in the world and at the same time provides so much “free” care to people that have no insurance. Those with insurance must, therefore, subsidize those who are uninsured.
      If we made insurance available to more people through group benefits (mentioned above), reduce the liability insurance costs to the health providers, and make wellness a benefit that reduces the individuals costs of insurance, we would be a long way toward an affordable system.
      Once America fixes the things that are wrong with insurance, then, and only then, should we consider a massive government intrusion. Who knows, just maybe there isn’t a need to add agencies and spending a trillion dollars, maybe it is just a matter of Americans being better at using what is already here.
      Bigger government is the last thing we need. America needs more of a smaller, less intrusive and less wasteful government. It was announced today that one out of three dollars in health care is waste. That is where we must start.
      Join me in writing the members of congress and letting them know that we need to fix what is wrong first, then see where we are. Of course, we could also replace those in Washington, on both sides, as that could correct much of the problem!
      May God bless.
Tom Grovenstein
Statesboro

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