In my experience as a nurse I have seen a large number of patients without insurance, because they just can't afford it. When folks don't have insurance, they often put off care until it becomes a crisis.
They end up going to the emergency room for care. The ER is a very expensive place to treat people, but that is where folks go that don't have insurance. People are left with enormous medical bills that can wipe them out financially and often tax payers end up paying the costs. I remember one elderly couple, they were the sort that always paid everything on time, then the woman's husband had a catastrophic illness. The medical bills were overwhelming and ended up bankrupting them.
While many people are worried about the skyrocketing costs of health care and the lack of coverage provided by health insurance companies, Senator Chuck Grassley is pushing for reforms that help private insurance lobbyists INCREASE their grip on American's pocket books. This week he filed an amendment in the Finance committee that would eliminate proetections for middle class families against high insurance premiums.
Alternatively, Senators Harkin and Dodd have worked together in the past to provide American's with real solutions. We need THAT kind of leadership to create good, affordable health care options - not the industry biased team work we are getting from Senator Grassley and Senator Baucus. Let's quit playing politics with people's lives. It's time for Grassley to start fighting for Iowans rather than the special interests.
Patricia Fuller, 26 Pickard Lane, Council Bluffs, IA (712) 366-0423.
"If Culver expects to stay around, we need to see something out of him." That was the message I sent the DNR and Gov. Culver at a CCI meeting on 10/3/09. "It's only fair - he campaigned on the stronger environmental standards and Local Control, but we haven't heard him call for it since he ran in 2006.
What we have seen is over 50 manure spills in just 33 months, and the number of impaired and polluted waterways almost doubling, from 279 in 2006 to 439 in 2008. What we have heard is Culver asking the USDA to bailout factory farms to the tune of millions of dollars because the market is flooded with factory farm hogs and prices have dropped.
What we need is Local Control - a tool that will help everyday folks stop the expansion of corporate factory farms and the pollution they bring. But paying Local Control lip service won't be enough - we need to see action out of Culver now.
Garry Klicker, Family Farmer and CCI member, Bloomfield, IA.