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Letter: Doing nothing about health care is unacceptable

This is in reference to Dan Duda’s letter on health care reform
(“Health care reform fix simple for anyone but politicians,” Feb. 5).

This is in reference to Dan Duda’s letter on health care reform (“Health care reform fix simple for anyone but politicians,” Feb. 5).

Mr. Duda thinks the solution is as simple as 1-2-3; yet if it was that simple, it would have never been a problem in the first place. His three solutions are the weary response from all the conservative talk show hosts.

First, he says that we should be eliminating employer-paid health insurance and mandating that the money be rebated back to employees in salary. We already have eliminated good pension plans, replacing them with 401(k) plans, which employers have watered down so much employees are working longer than before because they can’t afford to retire. The concept assumes that when an employee “purchases” health care, like buying a pair of pants, they will save a ton of money. I’m sure if Mr. Duda’s son or daughter has broken a bone, Mr. Duda gets on the phone and starts to “negotiate” a good, cheap hospital, just like when he buys a car. What does Mr. Duda tell the small-business owner who couldn’t afford insurance, has drained his bank account for his treatment for cancer and is hoping to die so his wife and children can collect on his life insurance policy so they can go on without him?

Second, tort reform is always on the lips of the “anti-reform” movement. But it is a fraction of health care costs. Why don’t we look at what is truly using up taxpayers’ money in the court systems? Corporate litigation over trademarks, jurisdiction and other issues.

Third, he says that we should just offer more options. Pennsylvania has four Blue Cross
providers (most states have only one) along with Aetna, United Health Care, UPMC and
Geisinger, to name a few. With those providers scattered throughout Pennsylvania, we should be the cheapest in the nation. Not the case.

Finally, Mr. Duda would want the religious and humanitarian communities to pick up the slack. With more citizens facing personal bankruptcy due to a health care bill or job loss, they are looking to these nonprofits to feed their families more than ever before. Now we want nonprofits to provide health care assistance?

We are the greatest nation on Earth, yet when we have tens of millions of Americans without health care and are either bankrupt or dying because of a lack of care, doing nothing is unacceptable.
-Dave Fillman, Harrisburg, executive director of AFSCME Council 13

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