We deserve a united health plan for a healthy American family | Guest View

By Susan Pedersen | Nov 22, 2017

For thousands of years, people have known that strength resides in unity. In an ancient fable, a father teaches his son a lesson on unity. The father instructs the son to break a bundle of sticks. The bundle would not break. He then instructs him to take one stick and break it. Obviously, and with little effort, he breaks the stick that’s left on its own.

Our wise forefathers knew the strength of unity, and they based our democracy on it, a unity that has prevailed for 241 years in spite of many violent and horrific challenges.

Unity needs to be in the forefront of Americans' thinking as we debate the pros and cons of the political issues facing our nation. The health of our nation is a political issue dependent on our unity. As Americans, we all deserve the best health care and by joining together such a health program can be delivered.

Being united, the cost of health care can be affordable. Keep in mind that in our families we don't discriminate on health care. Lets not discriminate against our American family.

Republicans have proposed health insurance based on pitting people against each other: the young against the old, the sick against the sicker, the disabled against the abled, the rich against the poor. They confuse and deceive people with vague verbiage and numerous formats. They overwhelm people with thousands of choices.

They omit the cost of the medical procedures and drugs. They allow states to set their own insurance regulations. They allow for health, age, economic, race, religion, and sexual discrimination. They allow people to not have any insurance.

Republicans label this: a free market. Is this what we want? A free market that creates millions of uninsured Americans? A free market that destroys the health of our nation?

The Republicans scream, "The Affordable Care Act is collapsing." They should know, as they are killing it. Trump reduced the ACA advertising by 90 percent; only a handful of government employees working fewer hours and days are available to answer consumers’ questions and to sign up Americans for ACA.

They passed a law allowing Insurance companies, hospitals, doctors and health clinics to opt out of ACA; they reneged on giving a percentage of the profits gained by insurance companies to insurance companies losing money.

They made it illegal to negotiate drug prices. Several Republican states refused to take government subsidies, lowering the cost of insurance for low-income people, senior citizens and disabled persons.

And while killing the ACA, they did not renew CHIP, a Medicaid program that insured 9 million children. These actions by the Republicans are destructive and divisive. They are destroying the health of America.

On the other side, Democrats have proposed two options: fix the flaws in ACA or create a single payer health insurance. Both options, as Democrats know, are dependent on unity.

We all know that in our lifetime, we will experience catastrophic health issues in ourselves or family members, such as diabetes, A-fib, heart problems, war, work or sports injuries.

All of these catastrophic health issues require expensive treatment, costs that can be met with a united health care system.

All Americans gain by supporting a universal health program. We all grow old. We all experience illness. Excellent health care for all is a humane and loving treatment of our American family.

So do we want to work together or separately? Do we want to unite and create well-deserved health care for all Americans or do we want to each do our own thing, not have health care, pay exorbitant costs, egotistically believe we are smarter than the other guy and will get a better deal?

Do we think we are infallible, never to get old, wrinkled and sick, or are we so rich that we know we can get good health care and damn be to those who can not afford health care?

Folks the choice is ours: Unite and create a healthy American family.

Susan Pedersen is a retired teacher and Edmonds resident.

Comments (2)
Posted by: Jack A Mackie | Nov 24, 2017 11:13

Ms. Pedersen's points are spot on.

In a continuing effort to divide our nation, this Republican president, House and Senate are set on further dividing us but this time it is separating us from our income. The Trump tax "reform" will permanently give tax "relief" to corporations (many of them offshore) and the "wealth class" by removing fair and equitable middle class deduction credits for adoption, student loan payments, higher education, health care costs, home care for a family member, tax accountant costs, sales taxes, taxes paid to states other than Washington etc etc etc.

Further, this permanent "relief" to the wealthy and corporations will throw 13-million Americans off their health insurance and raise the premiums of another 10-million Americans. Additionally, Trump will not allow public school teachers to deduct from their income taxes the supplies - pencils! paper! - they give to their students!

None of this is fair nor equitable. Ms. Pedersen is absolutely correct - the goal of this president and this Republican party is to divide and separate us based on our economic status. What has happened to the Republican party is shameful! Why do they so embrace cruelty and division?

The Republican tax "reform" must be stopped!

Jack Mackie, Edmonds

Posted by: Nathaniel R Brown | Nov 24, 2017 17:28

Harry Truman understood Republicans then, and not much has changed since: "Republicans approve of the American farmer, but they are willing to help him go broke. They stand four-square for the American home--but not for housing. They are strong for labor--but they are stronger for restricting labor's rights. They favor minimum wage--the smaller the minimum wage the better. They endorse educational opportunity for all--but they won't spend money for teachers or for schools. They think modern medical care and hospitals are fine--for people who can afford them. ...They think American standard of living is a fine thing--so long as it doesn't spread to all the people. And they admire the Government of the United States so much that they would like to buy it."

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