Truth be told, on any given Sunday morning I'm a pretty lazy fellow. I read the paper, including the comics mind you, watch some of the talk shows and then a football game or golf, depending upon the season. But sometimes something flips my switch and I just have to respond with more effort than yelling at the TV or throwing down the paper in disgust. This past Sunday was one of those times. Below is a letter which I wrote to the editor of our local paper. The entire letter to the editor to which I'm responding is here. This is slightly edited to eliminate the authors name.
Dear Editor:This past Sunday's local newspaper contained a letter from a reader who expressed his dissatisfaction with the Obama health care reform legislation and its personal effects on his finances.As a wise man once said, everyone is entitled to their own opinion, just not their own facts. this letter writer says, "(T)his administration ... also has a health plan program that creates a 'donut hole' in the Medicare prescription drug program."Well, not exactly. The so called donut hole in prescription drug coverage was a part of the George W. Bush Medicare Part D prescription drug benefit which was passed by the (then) Republican Congress and signed into law my President Bush. This is the same addition to Medicare which was not funded and which thus added significantly to our national debt. This is the same addition to Medicare which forbade the government from negotiating with drug companies for the best and lowest price for prescription drugs. Let me repeat: the Medicare Part D prescription drug benefit was proposed and passed by the Republican Congress and signed by President Bush.The correspondent goes on to say, "Obama said, 'we know your prescription drug cost will increase, so here is a check for $250 - a one-time payment.'" This letter writer alludes to the idea that since Obama crammed this donut holed health care program, "down our throats," (which he didn't, see above) the one-time payment of $250 was somehow an insult, since his actual donut hole drug coast would range much higher.Sorry, but the $250 was contained in the new health care reform law to lesson the donut hole costs for this year. The new law actually eliminates the donut hole over a few years during which the hole will get smaller and smaller.Finely, the letter writer laments that, "Obama's administration also takes $400 billion from the Medicare plan - thus the 'donut' hole." The $400 billion from Medicare is in the new law, but refers to cost reductions over 10 years or $40 billion a year in savings to the government. And, "thus the 'donut' hole," again makes the incorrect assumption that the said donut hole was somehow created by the current administration. It was not.I would caution this reader and, in fact, all of the voters in our great state, to learn the facts behind the political babble we hear and read daily. Otherwise you'll be voting on November 2 with incomplete, or incorrect, information. I don't think any of us wants to do that.Thank you,
I hope that I shed a little light on this issue and that the letter writer, and others with the same mistaken ideas of what's going on in the world, may have learned something. Hey, I'm optimistic.