Letters for Thursday, April 13, 2017

• Take immediate steps to help dog • Incinerator could solve rubbish woes • All people should have healthcare

Take immediate steps to help dog

Steve, I’m glad you alerted the Kilauea neighborhood to the plight of the dog. In a addition, because of the immediate need, you could have knocked on the door, knocked on a neighbor’s door and called the Humane Society.

Mark Perry, Lihue

Incinerator could solve rubbish woes

An open letter to KIUC Board of Directors and members: Solve Kauai’s garbage and recycling crisis and increase KIUC renewable energy portfolio. How? Finance and build a rubbish incinerator.

We burn garbage for power and store the energy in batteries for use during peak times and night. New design plasma incinerators can capture harmful chemicals and zero pollution!

Thomas Bauguess, Lihue

All people should have healthcare

At last night’s meeting, Gov. Ige was asked what his plan was to implement single-payer healthcare for Hawaii when the Republican’s in Washington repeal the Affordable Care Act. He said he is not concerned since he “assumes” that HMSA will just carry on as they did before the ACA providing insurance for “most” in Hawaii.

Healthcare for “most” is not good enough. Hawaii needs healthcare for all. When the food service worker at your favorite restaurant gets a cold, he still has to come to work, exposing you to his illness. Healthcare must be available for everyone and the best way to do this is through a single-payer system that is financed through taxes. Yes, your taxes will go up, but if you no longer need to pay $1,000/month in health insurance premiums for your family.

People seem to misunderstand what “single-payer” means. In its simplest form, it is “Medicare for All.” All as in everyone. Employers will be relieved of the burden of having to provide health insurance. Citizens will no longer have to worry about changing jobs and losing health insurance. Doctors will no longer have to deal with the inconsistent administrative procedures of several different organizations. Procedures which are set up to keep you, the patient, from getting the care you need.

Medicare has overhead costs of about 3 percent. Insurance company overhead is 17 percent. In other words, that insurance CEO’s exorbitant salary is skimmed off the top while his company provides you with an inferior product. Republicans are lying when they say that allowing insurance polices to be sold across state lines will increase competition and drive down costs. The credit card industry was deregulated in that way. Are you familiar with the up to 25 percent interest rate on your monthly balance?

The United States is the only advance country in the world that does not employ a single-payer system. The Republican claim that the “United States has the best healthcare in the world” is only true if you have so much money you can buy your own doctor. A single-payer system does not prevent the extremely wealthy from continuing to do just that. Nor does a single-payer system set up a National Health Service. Rather it allows for true competition in the market place since the single-payer system will, as Medicare does, be able to negotiate with multiple providers to get the best care at the least cost.

The Hawaii Health Authority was set up to propose a way for Hawaii to move to a single-payer system. Governor Ige was given several opportunities to explain his opposition to the HHA, he wiffed.

All in all, it was an extremely disappointing event.

John Zwiebel, Kalaheo

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