Vail Daily letter: Know the truth |

Vail Daily letter: Know the truth

Karen Loewenstern
Vail, CO, Colorado

As the debate over national health-care reform has grown increasingly heated, it’s become more and more difficult to separate fact from fiction based on newspaper accounts alone despite journalists’ best efforts.

In that spirit, here are a few points people should know the truth about before reform comes up for final votes in Congress.

When you or a loved one is incapacitated near the end of life and unable to make decisions, would you like to have your family involved in making the relevant decisions about your care or making sure your wishes are carried out?

Some versions of health-care reform bills encourage doctors to offer counseling to help you prepare for this type of situation. If you support that, you should support health care reform — and you should definitely ignore disingenuous or misinformed opponents of reform who try to scare you with bogus stories about so-called “death panels.”

Next time you’re choosing an insurance plan, would you like to be restricted to private plans that may or may not keep your best interests above their profit interests? Or would you rather add in the option of a public health-insurance plan with a government mandate to cut your costs?

With a public option, you can’t lose. You can have that public plan or you can have your same choice of private plans, only now they’re competing with the public plan. The choice would be yours.

Some versions of health- care reform contain language about eligibility for health care that is similar to language found in George W. Bush’s Medicare Part D bill from 2003. As any reasonable person would expect, this language restricts eligibility to U.S. citizens and those living in America legally.

Yet many of the very same Republicans who voted for Bush’s Medicare bill now oppose President Obama’s health-care reform because they wrongly claim it would give benefits to people who are in America without proper legal paperwork. These claims don’t add up, and they deserve to be ignored.

A lot of the misconceptions out there about health-care reform can be traced to the powerful lobbying and misinformation campaigns of the very industry with the most to lose when the system gets fixed — the private insurance companies who are taking advantage of current holes in regulations.

If it sounds too bad to be true, it probably isn’t true.

Polls show that most people who find out the truth about these myths support health-care reform, and I’m confident the readers of your paper will be no different. Please make sure everyone knows the truth.

Karen Loewenstern


Support Local Journalism