Dear President Obama;
I’ve sent comments to you on healthcare, but the box only takes 500 characters and I am much more long winded than that. Also, I haven’t received any response. But, I’m not writing this to complain, but to help people take notice.
First and foremost, we shouldn’t rush any of this. Theodore Roosevelt wanted national healthcare at the beginning of the last century and we’ve lived this long without it. Let’s take our time. I know there’s a feeling of urgency what with the economy trying to climb out of the toliet and the American public supporting you by 65%, but let’s not make hasty decisions.
Second, any plan that adds yet another tax onto the backs of the middle class is not a plan worthy of mention. Those of us in the middle class pay enough taxes as it is. Right now, between Federal and State taxes, Social Security and Medicare, 1/3 of my paycheck is gone and I haven’t even walked out of the building. Let’s find the money some other way. (I’m for stopping farm substidies to large corporations and weekend farmers. The substidies weren’t supposed to be paid out for more than five years when they started. It’s just ridiculous that people like Sam Donaldson gets farm substidies, but I digress.) I’m pretty sure that at some point in the next few years, our taxes are going to have to go up, but let’s not tax one of the few benefits we enjoy.
Now, having said # 2, let me mention #3: Let’s give HUGE tax breaks to companies that cover at least 75% of an employee’s healthcare and even bigger tax breaks to companies that cover 90%. Let’s not make them pay taxes on any money spent on healthcare for employees’ dependents. A lot of the uninsured are children and by giving employers the push to do the right thing, we might be able to knock more than half of the uninsured off the list.
Four, and this is big, let’s not have national healthcare, but a national standard. And, here’s why; we don’t want to give companies a break on taxes and then have them use some shoddy fly by night insurance company that doesn’t cover the basics. A pound of prevention is worth an ounce of cure, after all. We need wellness visits and mammograms, etc. to be covered. And, the standards set must be followed whether the company is self-insured or not. I spoke with a company representative where I work and she insisted that they didn’t have to follow the minimums set by Illinois because they were self-insured. I couldn’t find an answer on whether or not she was lying, so let’s just get that part out of the way. If you follow at least the minimums, you get the tax break, if not, you don’t. He who pays the band gets to pick the music, so companies shouldn’t expect breaks, if they don’t want to have the minimums.
Finally, whatever healthcare plan we pick or whatever minimums we set; Congress should be set at the same standard. If they had to live with our healthcare, the healthcare system wouldn’t be broken.
I hope you see this, President Obama.
A Concerned Citizen