Thank you for calling me good people. I appreciate it.

Additionally, like I posted to Stormy, I fail to understand what would be unfair about anyone stating an opinion on this matter. Also, I don't think you are dumb with too many opinions. Stoke the fire!

I too am glad that I can pay out of pocket for the time being. Understand that I avoid as many doctors, tests (especially the fancy ones), medications, etc., as possible due to this fact, but I'm able to manage the basics and am grateful for that. However, one serious incident (tumble down the steps, etc.), and I'm likely one of the bankrupt.

I fully concur that nothing else matters if an individual doesn't have their health. Healthcare as a right? Health? Yes. Healthcare? I disagree since that means another is forced to provide for the benefit of another. Sounds like servitude, yes. Health insurance? No.

Honestly, I don't remember all the rules regarding how an HMO works as I haven't had one since my first employer 14 years ago. All subsequent plans were PPO. However, I don't think it will be much, if at all, better under the government plan in contrast to an HMO. Instead of having a doctor direct your care, it sounds as though a high level government advisory panel will do this. Additionally, one individual I communicate with who had the same intestinal surgery as me had hers done under an HMO. She claims that if there is no one in network that can provide the appropriate service, they send you out of their network. I don't know if this is how they all work or not.

I agree that there are things terribly wrong with our health insurance and healthcare system. Careful, measured reform is needed. Access needs to be improved. Those delivering healthcare (mainly doctors and hospitals) need to be held accountable. Those that enter into an agreement to provide a service (health insurers) need to be held accountable and not be able to rescind those services once they agree to the terms and that agreement commences. However, the bill for health care should not be the burden of the citizens of this country. Those who can't help themselves should get help, continue to receive help, or be rehabilitated. However, those that can contribute, must, regardless of their economic means. Since higher taxes will be needed at some juncture to pay for this (and other existing debt) at some time anyway, maybe this national sales tax, or something similar, is examined. The government needs to define realistic rules that protect the consumer but are also conducive to business participation and, in an ongoing manner, needs to be nothing more than a referee to ensure that the businesses play fair. I know this is a simpleton's view, but I don't appreciate unnecessary complications.
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Kind Regards,
Jay

Almost all of us long for peace and freedom; but very few of us have much enthusiasm for the thoughts, feelings, and actions that make for peace and freedom. - Aldous Huxley

Was the government to prescribe to us our medicine and diet, our bodies would be in such keeping as our souls are now. - Thomas Jefferson