Updated: December 19, 2012 10:52AM
Remembering Medicare Part D differently from Hastert
With all due respect to former Speaker of the House Dennis Hastert (Viewpoint, Oct. 31), my recollection as to the circumstances leading to Part D of Medicare differs from his.
I recall it as being proposed to mollify a U.S. public outraged when they learned from media sources that the sick U.S. citizen was paying four times or more for the same medicines as were citizens of other countries.
When a movement started to call for price controls to stop this obvious gouging of the U.S. public, the Republican guardians of the “free-market” and “small businesses” jumped into action. They encouraged a campaign to discredit the non-U.S. suppliers of those medicines, claiming they couldn’t be trusted to provide safe medicines.
This came from the FDA, on whose watch we had the Tylenol tampering, the Heparin contamination and the recent steroid meningitis outbreak — not to mention the huge increase in E. coli and salmonella outbreaks in our country.
When the public didn’t buy into that propaganda, those Republican guardians of the “free-market” and “small businesses” came to the rescue: They made it illegal for U.S. citizens to purchase medicines via mail from sources outside the country. I guess making it illegal to patronize the competitor of Glaxo-Smith-Kline, et al, is a form of “protection,” huh?
Do people under Part D, at an additional premium cost (hello, insurance companies), pay less for medicines than if they didn’t participate? Yes.
Are they paying less than sick people in other countries? Absolutely not.
People voted to be poorer via government that ‘cares’
The people voted for the government that they think “cares,” but in reality they voted for a government that will make them poorer.
Germany, France and Italy have governments that “care,” but in those countries the real spendable household incomes after taxes is 40 percent less than that of the United States.
The goods in Europe are priced 50 percent higher because of all the taxes. The European restaurants have fewer customers because the people have less spending money.
The Europeans are more nervous people because they have less control of their lives.
I’m afraid that we have destined our children to a poorer existence.
Xenophobic complaint about who is on newspaper’s cover
In The Courier-News’ Speak Out section on Nov. 9, just two days before American honored her war veterans — among whom at least 15 percent are Hispanics who served on the front lines in the Afghan and Iraq wars — another apparent xenophobe is crying about the paper’s coverage of Elgin school children with Hispanic names.
“Once in awhile,” the caller would like to see “kids with German, Polish or Italian surnames” featured in the paper.
Apparently, as just one example, the caller missed the coverage in the Nov. 6 sports section highlighting the Harvest Christian School girls volleyball team.
The caller should be thanked for informing The Courier readers that no kids apparently with German, Polish or Italian names go to school in Mexico.
Editor’s note: The caller did not state that no children with German, Polish or Italian names go to school in Mexico, but rather that the paper seemed to be published in Mexico. Although Speak Out accommodates a vast range of opinions, it’s probably worth noting that this particular one was inane.