Access to affordable quality health care was a pivotal issue in the presidential election. However, in becoming a political football, reform has put women's health at risk.
Cost is the major barrier to access to reproductive health services, according to the Kaiser Family Health Foundation report Health Care and the 2008 Elections. According to the report, more than 17 million women lack coverage. For those with coverage, many job-based insurance plans limit benefits and most individual plans exclude them.
Increasingly the only access to reproductive health care for these women is through clinics run by non-profits such as Planned Parenthood who treat women regardless of their ability to pay. Unemployment is causing a spike in clinic visits just as states are cutting their financial support for safety net services, and clinics are facing severe financial challenges.
Despite this, more than 200 anti-reproductive health amendments have been proposed for the reform bills currently under discussion which will further limit women's access to reproductive health care. Several even attempt to permanently defund organizations such Planned Parenthood which provide this vital safety net for women and their families.
According to the UN, the U.S., the richest nation in the world, is ranked 41st in the world for maternal mortality due primarily to lack of access to proper care. As voters we have a democratic and moral obligation to understand what is being proposed to ensure that women's access to quality healthcare is not made worse by health care reform.
'Obamacare: the Audacity of Hype'
In the Aug. 21 issue, Dolores Fox Ciardelli says, "healthcare needs reasoned debate, not anger."
"Reasoned debate"? Instead, Barack Obama and other Democrat schemers tried slamming America. But alert citizens, sensitized by a Democrat-derived recession, enormous special-interest bailouts, $787 billion in "stimulus" giveaways, and cap-and-tax energy scams, began challenging dodge-em Democrats and their snake-oil healthcare bills.
So despite government/media hucksters' efforts to neutralize resistance to socialized medicine, word's getting out.
HR 3200 (introduced July 14, subscribed by Democrat U.S. Rep. Jerry McNerney on July 31, and hyped by him in two carefully staged 55-minute phone-in "town halls"):
* Embeds end-of-life "shared decision making" in sections inserted by Oregon Rep. Earl Blumenauer (who promotes his state's assisted-suicide program).
* Kills new individual health-insurance enrollments after government substitutes become law;
* Undermines employer-provided health insurance with taxpayer-funded Obamacare;
* Ditches 31 Republican amendments requiring "public option" enrollment of legislators themselves, adding stop-loss funding limits, protecting medical-savings accounts, prohibiting federal coverage of abortions and illegal immigrants.
* Undertakes Obama's bait-and-switch maneuver, announced at two union meetings, imposing "single payer" healthcare incrementally.
Meanwhile, "Art Space" contributor John Barry characterizes the citizen demonstration at radical Sen. Barbara Boxer's Rakestraw book signing as "sound and fury signifying nut-think," and derides demonstrators' homemade signs. Presumably, Barry prefers the commercially printed clichés of ACORN, MOVE-ON, SEIU, and "Organizing for America" rent-a-mob cheerleaders stacking Obama's own Potemkin "town halls."
Renovate old fire station
At the Alamo Improvement Association Meeting on Aug. 12, Fire Chief Richard Price stated that only 3 percent of fire calls in the SRVFPD were fire-related. District data shows Fire Station No. 32 on Stone Valley Road responded to 909 calls in the past year. In other words, the firefighters at Fire Station No. 32 respond to an average of two fire calls each month, and most of these calls are small container fires.
Building a 9,000-square-foot facility to serve Alamo fire and medical emergency calls is an extravagant way to spend limited taxpayer dollars during tough economic times. Instead, the fire district should continue on with its original plan to remodel Station No. 32, when it purchased 20 feet on the western border of its existing Stone Valley Road property. The fire district can use the newly acquired Miranda Avenue property as its temporary facility and sell this parcel when the remodel of the existing station is complete. It's time for fiscal responsibility in our fire district. Taxpayers want it now.
*Editor's Note: Fire Chief Richard Price states that 3 percent of the District's calls are actual fires. The percentage of fire-related calls- an alarm sounding, smoke investigations, etc.- is much higher.
Nanci and Ed Wolske
Single payer would be better
With the passing of Ted Kennedy, one of our greatest champions of health and social justice, we must work even harder to see to it that civilized, quality healthcare becomes a reality for all Americans. Let us all work to receive the same quality healthcare that our senators and congressmen receive.
Contrary to what you've been told, single payer healthcare is not only less expensive, but people of all ages get better healthcare throughout their lives. No longer would you be tied to a job because of health benefits. Now that's freedom!
There will be a showing of the film, "Sick Around the World," which demystifies single payer, at 7 p.m., Saturday, Sept. 19, at the IBEW Hall, 6250 Village Parkway in Dublin. Sue Bergman from Healthcare For All (California's single payer movement) will speak after the film. Come and see for yourself how wonderful America would be if we stopped listening to the insurance companies.
We all deserve healthcare
America is about choices. Everyone deserves access to high quality and affordable healthcare. The current healthcare reform legislation provides choices for everyone. If you like your current plan and doctor, you will be able to keep it. However, reform is not about having health insurance; it is about having access to quality healthcare. For Americans without insurance, this is currently not an option. Every American citizen deserves healthcare. We need the public option to provide this basic right to citizens. The status quo is un-American and cannot be sustained.
I recently participated in a town hall on the phone with U.S. Rep. Jerry McNerney and filled-out a survey in June on his Web site. I thank McNerney for reaching out to hear our ideas and supporting healthcare reform.