Letters to the Editor

Questions for the masses

Members of the House are back in their districts, and senators will join them in their states after next week. If they are doing their jobs they will be meeting with constituents over the next month, and this is your chance to impact the debate on the radical proposals to restructure American medicine. These proposals are now making their way toward a final debate and vote in the fall. Here are 10 questions for any meeting you might have or e-mail you might send.

1. Do you guarantee that I get to keep the plan I have and the doctor I have?

2. Will the law require members of Congress and federal employees to be enrolled in the “government option/public plan,” and if not, why not?

3. Will seniors be guaranteed joint replacements, stents, and the chemotherapy they need, or will they be forced to accept less-costly and less-effective alternatives?

4. If seniors will be allowed the expensive but most effective treatments, how will costs be controlled?

5. Will seniors have to wait longer for their treatments than they do now?

6. Will doctors see their payment schedules drop?

7. If their payments fall and they make less money, won’t there be fewer doctors practicing medicine?

8. Doesn’t Canada have long lines for important surgeries?

9. How will making our system more like Canada’s not mean longer lines and longer waits here?

10. Have you read the bill well enough to be interviewed about it on the radio by a conservative talk show host?

Don’t expect any Democrat to agree to extended interviews on the bill, even if it is the most civil of conversations.

The versions of the bill in the House are indefensible when scrutinized, so expect more and more rhetoric and fewer and fewer answers.

If and when seniors realize that AARP has sold them out and that they are going to be put in a long, long line to second-class treatments, the real blowback will begin, so sponsors of Obamacare will be doing their best to stay away from questions for the next month.

Don Wiens


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