Letters to the editor Jan. 13

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Medicare equals disaster for all

Sunday’s Jan. 6 letters to the editor section featured an opinion by Edd Blackler of Bigfork who extolled “Medicare for all” as a panacea for the health-care system. Mr. Blackler alleges that such a solution would reduce costs, while at the same time, improve access. I suggest that it is his “misinformation, and myths about what it is” that need to be dispelled, rather than the other way ‘round.

Stating the obvious, Blackler asserts with confidence that the proposed “Medicare for all” system is a nonprofit program. Furthermore, he claims that it would save $500 billion per year simply by “eliminating copays and deductibles.”

First, try to think of any government program that isn’t “nonprofit.” Furthermore, try to think of one that is so efficient that it saves money. Your energy will be wasted, because there is no such thing. Even if a “public agency” were to “handle health-care financing,” I challenge him to name such an agency that is more efficient than a private one, where competition demands cost-saving practices.

Next, he claims that the single-payer system would “eliminate the rationing of health care.” Such a supposition is folly. Government studies have already proven that people overuse services when they are “free.” There are already scarcities of health-care providers, which will worsen if monetary incentives for such careers diminish, as they surely will under the single-payer proposals, thereby further limiting access, or if not, potentially reducing the quality of care by attracting less qualified practitioners. Furthermore, when government controls the health of its citizens it controls the very lives of those citizens right up to what they eat, how they exercise, or whether they “deserve” to be treated at all, based on their politics, behaviors, age, ect.

Finally, one of the primary reasons behind problems with our current system stems directly from government interference dating back to the mid-1960s, when Medicare and Medicaid were first introduced. Those programs arbitrarily regulated payments thereby raising insurance rates by forcing private insurers to cover unpaid costs of care that remained beyond the government minimum reimbursements. Even today, health-care institutions write off massive amounts of their costs when they “accept” Medicare or Medicaid. Aside from the payment issues, government regulations significantly increase the costs of compliance with such requirements because of the increased documentation necessary, which changes so frequently that health-care providers need to hire specialists just for that task.

Entirely too much is spent on bureaucracy, but not enough on health care. Clearly, that situation will worsen under any bureaucracy resembling “Medicare for all”.

— Dr. Ward S. DeWitt, Bigfork

Border security

Readers ask yourselves if we have nothing to fear from immigrants then why did Obama quickly erect a fence around his home after leaving the White House? He has nothing to fear. He is secure!

Same with many others screaming about the wall? Oprah? Feinstein? Schumer? Pelosi? If we Americans have nothing to fear, why do they need all this security here in America? To show my point further, stop any and all security for those who see no benefits for a secure border. Now let them pay all travel to their homes by private vehicle and not at taxpayer expense. Yes that is right, nothing to fear and they are no better and in fact far worse themselves over the average American taxpayer.

OK so I also need to see a valid U.S. issued ID card to vote, open a bank account, get a drivers license, etc. Not too much to ask as I am required to show a valid ID all the time and it is no big deal! Nothing to hide and legally doing business here then adjust and conform or leave. Oh wait, most other countries are far more strict than the U.S. so they come here.

Now build the fence, require proper documentation for business and benefits for U.S. citizens and learn to get along.

—Ron Albrecht, Kalispell

Government shutdown

Whereas: We the people elect public officials to initiate laws, debate, compromise, legislate and govern as representatives of the people.

Whereas: We the people pay these elected officials to perform these functions.

Whereas: A government shutdown is a failure on the part of these elected officials to perform these functions.

Therefore, be it resolved: As long as the government is shut down these public officials are not performing the duties entrusted to them by the people and they and their staff should not be compensated for their lack of performance.

As a side note, I suspect the staff members would quickly see to it that the government functions effectively under this scenario. Certainly, we the people seem to have little affect on the situation.

—William Boehme, Kalispell

History of worthless walls

Frightened humans have a long history of building worthless walls. Emperor Qin Shi Huang (220 – 206 B.C.) gave it an early try in China and in time various emperors on that land would build 13,000 miles of walls and barriers to secure their borders. Today its remnants are an interesting tourist attraction. If you happen to be touring nearby visiting what remains will cost $25 if you come by the bus-load. Private tours will cost around $60.

More recently, in 1945, frightened Russian communist dictators threw up an “Iron Curtain” across Eastern Europe to block the scary influence of Western democracy. The “curtain” included a concrete, stone and wire wall, isolating West Berlin from the rest of that city and from the free world that had just liberated them from a ruthless dictator.

In June of 1963, John F. Kennedy stood in that divided place and told 450,000 cheering citizens that “all free men are citizens of Berlin!” Twenty four years later, Ronald Reagan stood in that same walled and gated city, and before a cheering crowd, told the secretary of the Soviet Union’s communist party, “Mr. Gorbachev, tear down this wall!” Three years later the people of Berlin attacked, not each other, but the wall — and it is now rubble.

When will we ever learn?

—Jim Posewitz, Helena

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