Letters to the editor
December 31, 2003
Foot injuries led to
I guess I should just get used to your newspaper printing Kaye Ferry’s half-truths and unfair attacks on me. In yesterday’s Vail Daily, she apparently took glee that my car was parked and towed from a handicapped parking space at Eagle County Airport.
What she did not bother to print, or even ask me about prior to publishing, is that I have been in the care of five separate doctors since August for two bone spurs in my left heel.
Since then, as a result, I have been on crutches for a week, and separately, been instructed to stay completely immobile for five days. On some days, the pain has been excruciating rendering me unable even to walk more than five or six steps.
On others, thanks to the genius of Dr. Mike Schneider in Avon, there is no pain at all. On four separate occasions, I have only been able to take necessary business trips by using airport wheelchair assistance.
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For the record, on the day in question at Eagle Airport, I was already by 9 a.m. in modest discomfort and was greatly concerned that walking one-third of a mile to and from the nearest available parking space was likely to send me over the edge.
Still, there was no handicap sticker on my car. So I paid the appropriate towing fee without any protest.
Perhaps if Kaye had the courtesy to check the completeness of her story, I would not have been reduced to having to share information about this painful medical condition with everyone in the Vail Valley.
Linda Noon did a Tipsline comment about Biff America’s call for a national health plan. She asked, Who will be covered?
Indeed, it seems that a lot of the public money we already spend on health care covers non-citizens. This includes those who are here legally, as well as those whose papers are not in order. It is not uncommon for people to move to the U.S., get some form of legal status, and then bring over parents and other relatives who need health care.
Another issue: If taxpayers are going to pay for others’ care, shouldn’t the taxpayers have some voice about some questions that come up? Like what about people whose health problems are self-inflicted wounds – smokers, overeaters, heavy drinkers, couch potatoes, practitioners of unsafe sex, and so on? Will they get the same subsidy as someone with Alzheimer’s, MS, leukemia or breast cancer?
You can bet that if a government health program tried to restrict coverage to people who are here legally, for long enough to pay something into the system, Biff America’s liberal cohorts from the ACLU would be filing lawsuits to strike down such limits. Same with trying to give more consideration to those whose needs are not their own fault.
Biff America trotted out some of the cliches already used by others who urge comprehensive government health coverage – like, can’t the richest nation on earth afford such a program? Recent reports indicate that our present Medicare program is going to go broke, all the sooner because of the new prescription drug benefit. That is a product of bipartisan skullduggery, with politicians caving in to the senior citizen lobby because there’s an election next year.
All those involved – President Bush, Congress, AARP and seniors who promoted it – should be ashamed of themselves. We can’t afford it. But what do they care? The politicians can’t look past the next election, and a lot of seniors seem to think they’re entitled to whatever they want.
Let’s face it, a substantial part of this country’s older population have learned to sell their votes to the highest bidder, just like other special interest groups.
When Medicare was first passed in 1965, the official estimate was that it would cost $9 billion by 1990. The actual cost in 1990 was $66 billion. Adjusting for inflation, the actual cost turned out to be 165 percent higher than expected.
So all those people in their 20s, 30s and 40s should say: Right now, I’m paying 1.45 percent of my paycheck for Medicare. My employer kicks in another 1.45 percent, for a total of 2.9 percent. How much more will be necessary to pay for universal health care, including a prescription drug benefit?
All this as the baby boom generation continues to age and immigration runs on unchecked. Will it be 5 percent? Eight percent? Maybe Biff America and his friends can supply some believable numbers, along with other specific details, about what they mean by “universal health care.”
There’s more problems with that idea, but this is enough to chew on for now. And remember what James Dorsey said: “Democratic governments actually don’t do anything well … and if they do, perversely enough, they become less of a democracy.”