Thursday, October 29, 2009

Op-Ed: Numbers, not shouting, overwhelm health care debate

 Here’s an interesting read about the health care debate. Dingell (I should say his researchers and staff) has made some good points regarding a public option in this Op-Ed piece today.

I do believe our current health care system is in shambles and something has to be done about it. The research in this article is accurate (I did take the time to check quoted stats).

I’m not suggesting you read this Op-Ed piece because a Democrat wrote it. If a Republican would have brought up the same stats and logic I would have run it. I’m not interested in promoting either party. I am interested in trying to get out as much accurate information on this subject as possible.

What do you think about this Op-Ed piece? For or against?  

By Rep. John Dingell (D-Mich.)

“We have the best medical professionals in the world, but fewer and fewer Americans can afford to pay for the care they can provide. The trends indicate that problem will get much worse.

About 17 percent of our $14 trillion dollar economy is dedicated to health care. We pay more for health care than we do for food. Too much of what we spend on our care does nothing to improve our health. We pay for our highly bureaucratic and unwieldy health care system not just with dollars, but with the lives and well-being of millions of Americans. The Affordable Health Care for America Act will reform our health insurance industry so companies prioritize policyholders’ health instead of investors’ profits.

The insurance industry has done everything possible to make you think otherwise. This summer’s massive disinformation campaign –
exposed by Tim Dickinson in Rolling Stone magazine last month – has distracted millions of honest, engaged citizens during this debate. During two town halls in my District this summer, I witnessed first hand how fear hijacked a much-needed serious conversation.

But the facts scream louder than even the angriest protester – and the data tells us the current system could literally destroy our way of life.

Consider these statistics:
   The top ten health insurance companies made $8.2755 billion last year and they stand to make more when medical costs go up.  
•    The average annual premium for employer-sponsored health insurance is $13,375 for family coverage.
•    Approximately 45,000 people die each year because they lack health insurance.” 

Go to to read the rest of this Op-Ed piece.

AP Photo of Rep. John Dingell (Mich.) 

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