Assisted death has its place, and I have alluded to it in past writings.

Here sits a fairly old man. I have health insurance, but a great many are not as fortunate. Most of my medical care is covered, even prescriptions. Thank God. But how different would life be for me if I did not have it, and how different is it for people who don’t have it or are all of a sudden not covered, and let’s involve pre-existing conditions.

Let’s say I do not have insurance. My medical bills are bankrupting my family, and the home we have built is in jeopardy. The question: Is it more noble for me to pass into eternity and not leave the living on the street, hungry, wet, cold, destitute? Or do I waste a lifetime of work to try to save myself when I am in a losing, dying situation. The answer: I know my decision, and you have to make your own.

And let’s extend the conversation. Let’s consider the fact that so many “people of religion” proclaim the sanctity of life. Where is the hue and cry to save our neighbors, mankind itself from a miserable existence? Why isn’t the dialogue aimed at health care for all? Why isn’t the government in Washington expanding the Affordable Care Act if it is so concerned about our citizens? Why are both Republican and Democratic governors against block grants for health care? Because they know they don’t work, that’s why.

Why not keep the formulas in place and improve health insurance to help us all? A president once said, “We are here from the government and want to help.” Something like that. Doctors and nurses look people in the eye every day and know how our citizens are being mistreated. Listen to them. Could you do their work, and look someone in the eye, and tell them they can’t help because a pre-existing condition disqualifies them from help? Does anyone on Capitol Hill have a conscience?

Do not think that this isn’t going to happen here in Frederick County. It will, and it probably already has.

The camel is getting fatter and the eye of the needle is much smaller.

William Dolan

Mount Airy

(10) comments

Dwasserba

"A president once said, “We are here from the government and want to help." Reagan, and the rest of it was something like, "the scariest phrase you can ever hear." As for the camel quote yet again SIGH I've commented before that the interpretation I prefer is that it would not seem likely for a camel to do be able to pass thru the eye of a needle, but anything is possible with God. A rich man can enter heaven. Not the quote I'd have chosen, but thanks for the letter.

jsklinelga

Dwasserba

Mr. Dolan raised a subject that has been getting little attention. But it should. His points were well founded.

The eye of a needle is an interesting quote. People have speculated on its meaning. But its meaning is clear no matter what the interpretation.

In Jerusalem there is a gate with a small door in the side. Once the gate is closed at night the only way to enter is through the small door or eye. A camel must be completely unloaded of all the possessions it is carrying to squeeze through the gate. Similar to the only way a rich man could enter Heaven, stripped of his earthly possessions

I have been told by reliable sources that the county pays over 20k a year to subsidize an employees healthcare. I assume similar figures .apply to the State, Federal and BoE. How much of our tax dollars goes towards these subsidies? There was supposed to be a "Cadillac tax" on these plans to help cover the cost of the ACA. It never materialized. I am not sure of the 20 K figure but it would be nice to know how much we do pay. Especially since a large % of the massive BoE budget is for salaries, and benefits of current employees and retirees. We do not wish these folks ill just a fairness across the board.

MD1756

AS far as the ACA is concerned, They want more young healthy people paying into the system and yet they exempted those up to 26 years old if they were covered by their parents. That never made sense since they actually shrunk the pool paying into healthcare by raising the age that children could be on their parents' plans.

public-redux

I thought it made sense because parents would pay for family coverage while very young adults would go uninsured if left to their own devices. In other words, that policy increased the pool paying into healthcare. Since you’ve mentioned once or twice that you don’t have children, it is possible that you may not fully understand how parents think about providing for their children.

MD1756

public, it might make sense if that child is still going to school or looking for a job, but unless you're getting a PhD degree (or taking a long time to get a master's degree), you should have a job by 26 and paying for your own health insurance. The insurance mandate was supposed to take care of people leaving things up to their own devices, however, you are correct in that I may not understand the situation completely, but I try to keep things simple. If you're working, pay for (or the company should pay for) insurance. I was assuming children living at home with low paying jobs could still be potentially listed by parents as dependents and get coverage for their children.

public-redux

As long as someone is paying for the insurance, I fail to see why it matters whom. Some young adults live with their parents even if they have jobs that pay pretty well. I’m personally acquainted with a 25 year old who earns $80,000 and lives at home. I don’t know whether he is covered on his parent’s insurance or his own. In either case, he is in the insured pool.

jsklinelga

Mr. Dolan,

The first part of your letter is extremely insightful and powerful. Adequate healthcare is still a major problem and concern in this country. My insurance is not the best and i pray I will have the strength not only to not bankrupt my family but also not put more financial strain on a system. And I would fully expect my loving Father in heaven to understand .

But the devil, and I mean the devil, is in the how. I have Government Health insurance. Not government subsidized private insurance. but VA. They have been great but I truthfully admit I would rather be taken care of in a private, for profit, institution for any serious malady.than a Government hospital. (And please forgive me all you fantastic employees in the VA system.) Isn't that the real concern. People do not want Government run healthcare. But how can we deliver equal coverage from the private sector?

I had great faith in the ACA. It was logical that if the lawmakers and their staffs had the same insurance as the common working man we would see rapid improvement in the system.That included the BoE, and the State and county Governments. How quickly that failed. But obviously this failed instantly. People who had were resistant to give for the sake of all.

MD1756

I'm willing to give for the sake of covering emergencies that can't be planned for or if they happen are extremely expensive (such as a child getting cancer). I'm not willing to give for the sake of those who have a habit of making poor choices or spending most of their income for immediate pleasure without worrying about potential future needs. If one can't afford healthcare for oneself, that person or couple has no business having children that they can't properly take care of. As I've said in other posts, saving just $5/day, after a 40 years (age 60 if you started saving $5/day at age 20) one could conservatively have over $220,000 (using 5% annual rate and calculating the interest only on the end of year balance). Most people could actually save more to afford what they want, they just don't.

mrnatural1

Great comment MD1756.

What you say makes perfect sense. The problem of course is that we're dealing with human nature.

Now more than ever most people want instant gratification. They don't want to think about the future. They want that $5 cup of coffee (or whatever) NOW. To compound the problem, there are actually well-respected (in some circles) investment advisers that are telling people that saving a small amount daily -- by giving up something they really do not need and/or can easily replace -- is for chumps and losers. They claim people never get rich that way. All I can say is that your math is correct, and almost a quarter MILLION dollars may not be Jeff Bezos rich, but it's a good chunk of change that will no doubt come in handy.

If the assumed return is 8%, the total more than doubles, to over $500,000. At 10% (historical market average) that $5/day becomes almost $900,000!

Also, just generally speaking, watching what one spends -- especially those small recurring payments -- is a good habit to be in. That will lead to even greater savings.

As for children, human nature rears its ugly head again. Many people seem to think they are doing society a favor by having kids, and that therefore, not only is it their right, it is OUR obligation to pay to raise their child(ren)! As you have said, if people cannot afford ALL the costs of raising a child(ren) then they should not have them, period.

There was a time -- over 100 years ago -- when it could be argued that perhaps America could use, or at least absorb, more people. That time is LONG past. America is at approx double our sustainable population. That's according to the same 11,000 scientists that have been warning us about climate change for decades. So, to the majority of people who believe climate change is real and yet still want to have a baby, I'd say it is nonsensical to cherry pick and only believe the data that supports your personal desires.

Have kids if you want, that's your right, but don't expect free/reduced cost insurance; extra paid time off work (beyond what your coworkers receive); free day care; free child care; free formula; free diapers; etc, etc -- except perhaps on a means-tested basis. A couple pulling down a 6-figure income does not need "free" (taxpayer funded) *anything*. Maybe don't buy that vacation home.

Obviously, at the end of the day, we are morally obligated to care for all children, and we will. They will get whatever they need, and that's as it should be. At the same time it creates a real problem, because prospective parents know this. If they really want to have kids they will do so -- even if they can't afford them -- because they know that when push comes to shove we will pay for them.

MD1756

[thumbup] mrnatural

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