Medicare for All best health coverage
If we separate health care from employment and from health insurance companies, we can save upwards of $500 billion per year, based on a January 2020 Physicians for a National Health Program study.
How can Medicare for All save so much? We cease paying 900 health insurance companies to do the job of Medicare, and we cease being the only nation without a national formulary for negotiating prescription drug prices.
The Medicare for All Act, H.R. 1384, would result in a single billing system for all hospitals and clinics. This would drop providers’ administrative overhead costs from 15% to close to 2%, and payers’ administrative costs by a similar amount.
Single payer is successful in many nations right now. Here, it would be a massive economic stimulus that saves lives while defying the will of two of the largest lobbies in the U.S.
Dennis B. Miller
Much more help for families needed now
Hurrah for the magnificent display of compassion, humanity and public service by state Sen. Laura Thielen, as she sought to meet the urgent needs of so many island families (“Despite urgent social needs, Hawaii legislators decide to bank state and federal funds,” Star-Advertiser, May 20). Thank you for your service!
One had only to see the long lines of cars awaiting some food supplies to realize the real enormity and magnitude of hardships already being experienced by families.
Programs may indeed be available, but they appear hardly able to provide the adequate and prompt assistance needed now to meet the basic needs of those who have lost jobs and incomes.
First address the basic needs of those without; then later, focus on budget fixes, pay cuts, furloughs and control of funds, with the great coordination said to occur when all are working together.
The rainy day is upon us now.
We have not yet prevailed over virus
President Donald Trump’s attempt to stir the nation, “We have met the moment and we have prevailed,” was especially unfortunate and ill-timed.
Unfortunate, in the sense that he would have to backtrack and explain what he meant by prevail (“Experts see peril in hasty reopening,” Star-Advertiser, May 13).
Ill-timed, in that members of the White House staff were quarantined for having been exposed to the virus, and recent projections suggest the possibility that 120,000 Americans may die of COVID-19 by the summer.
Trump would have been more forthright if he had repeated cartoonist Walt Kelley’s parody of the braggadocio of commander Oliver Hazard Perry in the war of 1812: “We have met the enemy, and he is us.”
Allow more people to enjoy game of golf
Thanks to Mayor Kirk Caldwell and Gov. David Ige for opening the golf courses. Golf is the only outdoor sport in our state that relieves stress for people by the thousands; provides employment for people by the thousands; reduces the state unemployment compensation burden and produces millions of dollars in revenue; and follows the rule of social distancing at all times on the courses.
Opening the golf courses is a step in the right direction. Perhaps allowing seven minutes between groups will allow more people to enjoy this great game.
People are generous in time of COVID-19
Early in the morning on May 21, a friend of mine called me from Foodland in Kailua to tell me that all Foodland stores had received a large amount of money from an anonymous donor, which was to pay for kupuna purchases until the money ran out.
Naturally, I drove there immediately, arriving five minutes later. Twenty minutes later, when checking out, the cashier told me that the money allotment for the store had just run out.
I was disappointed, but happy to know that someone out there was so generous. Mahalo nui to that donor.
In the time of COVID-19, people are scared, people are confused, people are frustrated. In the time of COVID-19, people are loving, people are resilient, people are generous. Now I have a great “In the time of COVID-19” story to tell!
Nanette N. Napoleon
Shelters inadequate for strong hurricanes
Your editorial about needing “six feet of safety” in hurricane shelters misleads readers into believing that we have hurricane shelters (“Six feet of safety during hurricane,” Star-Advertiser, Off The News, May 25).
There are only 50 shelters in the state, and only three can withstand a storm greater than a Category 1. Today, Cat 3 and Cat 4 are considered “average.”
Warming seas are causing hurricanes to be broader and stronger and to aim more toward us. Hurricane Lane, a Cat 5, turned just before hitting Oahu in 2018. It’s just a matter of time.
Our homes are not built to withstand hurricanes. They are death traps. The Hawaii Emergency Management Agency believes 420,000 people will need shelter during any hurricane. We need thousands of strong shelters, and we need them now.
No one is doing anything. The Star-Advertiser could lead this effort.
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