2009-10-03 / Editorials & Letters

She’s back

Editor:

Once again I’m responding to comments made by Editor Charles Prince about my recent letter to the editor (September 12th). I don’t know if readers are “getting tired of our exchanges” as he suggests, but when an editor so blatantly disregards any kind of journalistic integrity in order to promote his own political agenda I will feel the need to respond.

Mr. Prince is right about one thing. This is a critical time and we all need to pay attention to the national debate and get involved. The stakes are enormous and that’s why we need to do our homework and get the facts. The Buckeye Lake Beacon is not the place to find facts.

Mr. Prince states “the overriding issue is control.” He wants you to believe the government is plotting to control “where and what kind of home you live in, what type of vehicle to drive, how to spend your free time, which doctor and medical facilities to use and so on.” This statement is ridiculous! Mr. Prince likes to make statements like this to distort the truth and scare the public.

And what about his statements about health care. Mr. Prince writes that both I and the Democrats are “painting an impossible utopia where we all have free access to health care whenever and however long we need it. Prescription drugs will be free and there will be no limits on our benefits.” Again this statement is ridiculous and it’s false. I have never said anything close to this nor have the Democrats. The bill is a mixture of private insurance, Medicare, Medicaid, and some type of public option for those that have no insurance. If you have insurance you will keep it and pay your premiums as well as pay for your medications and Medicare will continue as is also. A public option, that has yet to be decided, will also require payment of premiums. And those in lower income brackets will either receive help paying premiums or be eligible for Medicare. How Mr. Prince translates this into we want free health care and medications for, all I simply don’t know. Like I said, don’t look for facts in the Beacon.

Mr. Prince does not believe we have a health care. Even Republican Pat Tiberi has publicly stated the need to reform healthcare and in a recent article in the Advocate (August 29th) stated “Doing nothing is not an option. If we don’t do anything, the costs continue to go up.” The article ends with Congressman Tiberi’s statement, “As Republicans, we controlled everything and we failed,” he said. “We certainly didn’t do as much as we should have gotten done.” Though Pat Tiberi does not agree with the Democrats current health care bill he does not deny the need to reform health care. And if we don’t address this issue it will hurt business! Remember Mr. Prince is so worried the energy bill will cost us jobs but he never makes any mention about the high cost of health insurance driving jobs overseas. Health care is the largest expense for businesses and a leading reason why business are leaving our country.

There are other statements Mr. Prince has made about health care that are false or misleading. He refers to bureaucratic control and panels of experts that “will kick grandma out of ICU after a day or so; or never even let her in.” This is simply NOT TRUE! And Mr. Prince claims that if current proposals are enacted it will “smother medical innovations since government will refuse to pay for most of it.

That’s the pattern in Canada and most of Europe where access to new technology and drugs is severely limited.” If that’s the case then how is it that, according to the CIA website, the United States ranks 50th in life expectancy rates, far below Canada and most the European countries Mr. Prince says are deprived of medical innovations and have less access to new technology and drugs due to government controlled health care? In fact Canada is ranked 8th with a life expectancy of 81.23 years and France is ranked 9th with a life expectancy of 80.98 years. The United States, as I stated, is ranked 50th with a life expectancy of 78.11 years. Every website I checked had similar figures. I am not suggesting the country should adopt a single payer, government run health care system, but I am saying the people living in the countries that do seem to be doing better than we are.

Mr. Prince also believes we do not have an energy crisis. According to the U.S. Department of Energy website it states “because of the expected near-term retirement of many aging plants in the existing fleet, growth of the information economy, economic growth, and the forecasted growth in electricity demand, America faces a significant need for new electric power generation.” Also, “congested transmission paths, or “bottlenecks,” now affect many parts of the grid across the country. In addition, it is estimated that power outages and power quality disturbances cost the economy from $25 to $180 billion annually. These costs could soar if outages or disturbances become more frequent or longer in duration. There are also operational problems in maintaining voltage levels.”

In summary it states “North America’s world-class electric system is facing several serious challenges. Major questions exist about its ability to continue providing citizens and businesses with relatively clean, reliable, and affordable energy services.” Our present system is struggling to sustain our present energy needs let alone our future needs. Not addressing this issue will not only hurt business and our economy, but it will cost us jobs! Investing in our future energy needs will create jobs and secure our future.

Mr. Prince writes letters that are filled with sarcasm, misleading and false statement, and he frequently uses the oldest trick in the political book, fear, in an attempt to sway the public to his point of view. He seems to be incapable of writing a letter without using these tactics and he seems to be completely unaware of how unprofessional it is for an editor of a paper to reveal his political bias. And this man is running for political office in Union Township.
How very frightening.
Vickie Fogarty
Bowling Green Township

Editor’s Note: We apologize for the delay in printing this letter. Somehow it went into our junk folder this time.

I’ll only address a few of her points since we’re starting to plow over the same ground.

Fogerty says it is ‘unprofessional’ for an editor of a paper ‘to reveal his political bias.’ She continues the national Democrats’ recent practice of trying to demonize the messenger rather than acknowledging that there are legitimate differences of opinion.

Opponents of government-controlled healthcare have been called ‘unAmerican,’ ‘evil-mongers,’ pawns or shills for the insurance companies and most recently, ‘trash talkers.’

I have revealed my political OPINION just as Fogerty has. I favor individual responsibility, personal freedom/choice and market competition. Fogerty believes that the government should be making more of our decisions for us.

Fogerty’s complaint about using scare tactics is the ‘pot calling the kettle black.’ Her last letter was full of the dire consequences if we fail to fix our healthcare and energy crisis. For example, coalfired power plant emissions and vehicle exhaust ‘are responsible for many respiratory ailments and deaths each year.’

We do need to improve healthcare. It’s a big cost for us to provide health insurance to our employees (they pay part of the cost). But we believe turning it over to the government (that’s the ultimate objective whether it’s the ‘public option,’ ‘co-op,’ or ‘trigger mechanism’) will make things worse.

Let’s allow insurance companies to compete across state lines. Let’s stop piling on insurance policy mandates that increase costs. Let insurance companies offer a wide variety of plans, from just catastrophic protection to the gold plated plans our national politicians enjoy. Get serious about tort reform and save the billions wasted for defensive medicine. Break the link between jobs and health insurance so we don’t lose our insurance if we lose or change jobs. And yes, let’s create state high risk pools and subsidize the cost if necessary to ensure those with preexisting or chronic conditions have access to insurance.

None of these reforms require turning over everything to the government. In fact, they could be put in place much faster than any of the Democrats’ plans.

National healthcare can be heartless. Check out www.patients association.org.uk for the real story.

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