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Did Obama get through?

September 11, 2009

Re "Obama says healthcare status quo not an option," Sept. 10, and "Dollars and sense," Editorial, Sept. 10

President Obama cut through the blizzard of lies that have swirled around healthcare reform this summer. His detailed speech laid out the clear economic and moral reasons why we must reform our healthcare system, and he offered a comprehensive, middle-of-the-road plan for how to do it.

Judging from the Republican response, which agreed with nearly everything the president proposed -- except, remarkably, the need to pass these reforms now -- Congress has a clear road map to the finish line.

Andrew Wiese

San Diego

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Regarding your editorial, what I would like to see Obama propose in the debate on how to pay for healthcare is a transfer of money from U.S. warfare to U.S. healthcare.

A substantive reduction in the bloated U.S. military budget, and a transfer of that money to the defense of healthcare in the United States, would be literally a "lifesaver" in so many ways.

Rachel Bruhnke

San Pedro

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I don't care what the president says, my health insurance company is great. My stock in Wellpoint (Blue Cross/Blue Shield) is healthy as can be; up from $32.50 a share in March to $52.21 a share today. Whatever they are doing is working for me.

Mitch Faris

Orange

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Obama's speech said little or nothing about the future cost of insurance premiums, except that we somehow have to restrain the astronomical rate of increase. But if you were a near-monopoly health insurance conglomerate that was forced to insure people with preexisting conditions, set no financial cap on lifetime benefits and never rescind policies of the costly and critically ill, what would your response be? Obviously, you'd raise premiums.

So how are we to prevent such massive, profit-driven increases without a robust and extremely cost-competitive public insurance option that is open to all?

That's why progressive Democrats should have started out vigorously supporting a single-payer plan.

Joel Gayman

Los Angeles

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The president read one of his great campaign speeches, but he did not convince my family. This healthcare plan is not the most important issue we face -- it's paying for it. We are in debt, and this plan will add trillions more.

If we have agreement on some points, let's move forward with those that we can afford. If we can't afford it, don't do it.

Grade for speech-giving: B+; for content: D-.

Dale Laskey

San Pedro

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I am having trouble connecting the dots. You have folks who support the right of the state to kill people (death penalty) but are up in arms, literally (according a recent Times article about ammo purchases), when it comes to that same state providing healthcare to its citizens?

Larry Rennacker

Santa Barbara

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Obama is a gifted and inspirational speaker, but is he attacking this problem sufficiently at its root cause?

What disappointed me was that he spent so little time on the actual reason so many people can't obtain adequate healthcare -- it's too expensive.

So when did it start getting so expensive? Hint: When did insurance companies (and trial attorneys) really get into the healthcare market, and when did doctors start becoming businesspeople?

The most realistic approach to reforming our current healthcare system would be to attack its biggest problem: cost. Find its components and tear them down. In the meantime, we can simply make it illegal to deny or cancel coverage.

Socialism? Perhaps. But how else can you combat abusive capitalism?

Arthur Saginian

Saugus

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I would gladly accept Obama's healthcare program on one condition: the president and Congress choose it for their health coverage too.

Susan Lear

Santa Ana

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The president finally said the words he needed to say: Healthcare for all is a moral issue. It kind of makes you proud to be an American.

Kevin McKiernan

Santa Barbara

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