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How to raise money for health-care reform
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Editor, I feel this letter is long overdue. This is what I think should be done about health care reform here in the United States. To bring down the cost of health care, the U.S. government needs to control the cost of medical care and the cost of medical insurance.
Back when FDR was U.S. president, he established the Wage and Price Control Commission to not only control wages but also at what prices businesses could sell their products and services.
Doctors in this country are overpaid, and so are the people who sell medical insurance. They drive expensive cars and they may even own two or three cars. They also may live in better housing than most of us, and may have big bank accounts. Most have good job security unless they out-price themselves.
You ask how you can control prices. First, I would investigate who is over-charging for products and services. Second, I would have the U.S. government tell these medical providers and medical insurance people at what price they can sell their products and services. Third, the U. S. government needs to control the tuition prices charged to medical school students.
Everyone is asking how the federal government is going to pay for health-care reform. One suggestion would be preventative medicine. There needs to be a tax imposed on those people in the United States who have unhealthy lifestyles, such as those who are overweight, those who smoke or drink alcohol and those who refuse to change their lifestyles.
Those are the type of people who end up with medical problems and who end up in the emergency room and the pharmacies.
These people should be paying higher income and Medicare taxes. This could be done by requiring taxpayers to provide a doctor’s statement with their weight and height. The statement could indicate if someone is overweight and whether they’re doing anything to change the bad lifestyles mentioned above.
Another way to get money for a federally run health-care program would be to fine food manufacturers who don’t put all the nutrition facts on their products.
There also should be a tax on all food that is excessively high in calories, fat, sodium, cholesterol and potassium. Tobacco and alcohol taxes should be funneled into paying for health-care reform. And the government needs to find a way to lower the cost of good, healthy food.
Exercise also is a form of preventative medicine and would lower the cost of health care. The U.S. and state governments need to give more money to schools that have good physical education and health education programs.
The government should tax people who drive their cars instead of walking or biking when they only need to travel a couple of miles.
I am 66 years old and I try to walk at least five to 10 miles a day. I also put myself on a diet about three years ago, which I am still on. I used to weight 250 pounds and today I weigh in at 145-155 pounds.
As for my health insurance, I am retired from the U.S. Army. Army recruiters back in the 1960s and my father, who was a major in the U.S. Army, told me if I stayed in the Army for 20 or 30 years, I would get free medical care for life for me and my family. But the U.S. government brought in TRICARE Manna Health care insurers to run the military health program and I ended up paying $115 for TRICARE for me and my family. Now I am on Medicare and TRICARE for life. And my wife is on TRICARE, which I still pay for, until she reaches 65.
So I am good on health insurance thanks to military planning. I hope your medical reform bill won’t affect any of my health care insurance planning.
I hope I have given you some insight to what could be done to bring on line a health-care-reform bill.

— Robert J. Wetmore
Hinesville

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