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Health care is a critical voter issue

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By The Staff

Take one writer with bronchial pneumonia add one husband with double pneumonia and you have a recipe for a tremendous lightening of the wallet and much sickness. Ten pills alone cost $120. How on earth does someone with limited income cope and get well with this type of gouging?

The following are a few observations made while being able to do little but watch television — even reading became a chore. So John McCain got the John Kerry treatment — the question must be asked — is there no decency left? He should have defended himself against the Bush machine’s scurrilous and slimy attacks in 2000 and possibly saved the country and the world from the nightmare that is the Bush administration.

Thankfully, he snatched the South Carolina primary from Mike Huckabee — one man of God in our White House has proved to be one too many.

A mention about Senator Clinton. Without reservation, pundits and commentators expounded and expanded on her “crying” in New Hampshire. It used to be called pooling or tearing up; in fact does anyone recall seeing a single tear course her cheek? Such is politics.

Listen to Rudy and the hoarse rabid cheers of those who obviously are “alright Jack.” Well situated regarding their own health coverage, they haven’t a clue as to how others survive.

A great majority of retirees in Florida had the good fortune to retire from white and blue collar jobs with a nice pension and medical care for themselves and their families for life. Their likes may not be seen again.

Don’t forget the small amount companies and corporations would have to add to a matching payment, like Social Security, would surely relieve them of the billions spent in paying the medical cost of retirees. But mention health care for all and you’d think the call was for the creeping red tendrils of communism to choke the very life out of good, decent Americans.

It’s hard to come up with much of every day life that is not somehow overseen or regulated by a central government — in our case the federal government. If we don’t expect them to take care of society and its needs and ills why do we send them money?

Let’s examine what is “run” by the government: schools, roads, infrastructure, Medicare and Medicaid, etc. Bridges, highways, rail and airline travel is regulated. Are these and many more, to be considered socialistic?

Then there are the police, fire and rescue personnel, and garbage men, most of whom work for a central government. Don’t let’s forget our armed forces — and the privately run and regulated a la Blackwater mercenaries?

Children must have a required set of shots and immunizations to be able to attend school. Airlines, busing, trucking and rail are regulated — in fact there’s little in our life that is not regulated in one way or another.

Some states even have laws about what you may or may not do in the privacy of your own bedroom. Hmmm — wonder how it’s enforced.

To travel to some foreign lands (Canada, anyone) ID is required and sometimes visas and government-required immunizations. We cannot do as we please unless we advocate anarchy, so what is the problem in government cutting out the middleman (insurance companies) and delivering a health care system for all Americans?

This could be easily administered by using the Social Security and Medicare model now in place. Of course your payroll deductions would be more — do the math and see if what you pay for health care now would more than take care of medical coverage, with a lot left over.

Surely anyone lucky enough to be making $90K a year wouldn’t mind the cap being raised — and if they did, what excuse could they use? The time could well come when the more affluent could contract an illness or condition that would bankrupt them.

Universal health care’s time has come — when we are the only industrialized (and some countries aren’t) country in the world to treat its citizens so shabbily. Ignore the propaganda from those who would call it non-workable.

How many world citizens are dropping dead because of health care denial? But “they” read about us and our callous treatment of those who cannot pay. Shifted around from one hospital to another until they either die or give up. The woman who died in her own bodily secretions in the emergency room of an American hospital was, at first, disbelieved by citizens abroad.

You need to be licensed to drive a car, truck, motorcycle, go fishing or hunting, or perform certain jobs ... you have to carry insurance on your automobile in order to receive a license to drive. Is this, too, creeping communism?

As to Medicare Part D — the next time you see an elderly person at the drug store, shoulders sagging, eyes misty, hands fumbling a wallet, or an old lady sitting down in tears, you might ask why. They’re in the “do’ nut hole.” They were under the impression their small co-payment went toward the $2,500 limit — not so! It is the actual price of their medication that is counted.

So a couple pays $70 extra per month on top of the nearly $100 each it costs to have Medicare Part B, to join this ill-thought-out plan and finds themselves in one gargantuan mess. Oh, and don’t forget the between $125 and $300 people pay per month to cover the 20 percent Medigap. No thank you!

Remember when Medicare was first enacted, the doctors rose as one, denounced it and said they wouldn’t take “those” patients. They soon came around when they realized their bottom line would be quite attractive.

So the only companies hurt by 100 percent health care coverage would be the insurance companies, and judging by their heartfelt rush to help the citizens of devastated states — mainly the South, anyone want to cry for them?

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Wendy England Binnie a novelist and op/ed writer lives in Oak Trace Villas with another poisoned pup, husband Bill.

Dear editor Lee was very kind in running pictures and a description of our little cat who decided to go vacationing in November. I would like to thank all who have written and called with sightings and/or encouragement.

One note: If someone has been kind enough to take pity on her during the recent cold snaps — I thank you and hope you will be kind enough to let the paper know. I realize she is hard to resist but her return would cheer Bill and me tremendously.

So anyone out who was found by a little fat “guest” cat, with a stubby tail and black, grey and butternut markings, please call the paper at 854-3986. Thank you, WEB.