Wednesday, November 24, 2010
Text Size

Site Search

Legislator’s Log by Rep. Brent Yonts - Week of Nov. 21, 2010

HOPKINS COUNTY, KY - Well, the latest election season is over, thank goodness. Too bad that there had to be so much mischaracterization of the new federal health care law before the poll curtains closed.

The most accurate pro- and con- arguments about the new law that I’ve read in recent days were located on the opinion page of the Nov. 8 USA Today. The pro stance was penned by the newspaper while arguments against the law were penned by Rep. Dave Camp, R-Mich--the sponsor of the Republican alternative to the law and likely heir to the chairmanship of the House Ways and Means Committee under the new Republican-controlled House. Both arguments had something ranging from a kernel to an entire ear of truth in them, depending on your political views and other beliefs.

I agree with those who support most components of the new law that it will help more Americans—about 10 times as many—as the leading alternative bill. The article in USA Today reports that the non-partisan Congressional Budget Office (CBO) expects at least 30 million more Americans to be helped by the new law while the alternative measure is only expected to cover an additional 3 million people.

With one in every six Americans living without health insurance, it seems a no-brainer to me that our nation needs to go ahead with basic reform and make improvements as we move forward.

On the flip side, I agree with a statement in the editorial by Rep. Camp (who sponsored the alternative measure) that the law has influenced some insurance companies to drop certain types of coverage. The media has been flooded recently with stories of major insurers cutting off coverage for preexisting conditions (such as asthma) under child-only policies. Some companies have since been ordered to continue selling the policies, but the issue remains influx nationally.

That said, I think what matters most on this issue is what the people of America want. If most people want the law repealed, then it should be. And if most people favor the law’s provisions, perhaps those provisions should be given time to work. One of the best ways to find out what the people want is through scientific polls, and at least one—the Bloomberg National Poll conducted Oct. 7-10—says most Americans want to keep major provisions of the very law that a majority of Americans also say they want to repeal. Talk about mischaracterization of an issue!

The Bloomberg poll indicates that large to marginal majorities of Americans favor the following provisions in the new law:
•78 percent of Americans favor requiring states to set up special plans so people with serious health problems are insured.
•75 percent favor prohibiting insurers from denying coverage based on preexisting conditions.
•73 percent want to improve Medicare’s prescription drug benefit.
•67 percent want children age 26 and under to be eligible for coverage on their parents’ policies.
•60 percent favor creating insurance exchanges to cover around 30 million uninsured Americans.
•54 percent want to do away with lifetime caps on insurance coverage.

Two other interesting results of the Oct. poll were that 45 percent of respondents agreed with the new law’s requirement for everyone to have health insurance, and 31 percent agreed with the law that the government should tax companies that provide extremely generous benefits. Pretty striking percentages, given the hysteria surrounding so-called “Obamacare” over the past year and a half.

The bottom line is that there is room for improvement in all things. Government, business, personal relationships—they all require constant fine-tuning and even correction. We have annual legislative sessions in our state for that very reason. That is also why we have a full-time Congress.

By encouraging our new Congress to work together for us, we can improve a pretty good health care reform law that most of us seem to like already. That sounds better than starting another decade without anything on the books to help insure tens of millions of people nationwide who need coverage today.

A couple weeks ago I reported on Murray State University’s prominent standing in Forbes’ “America’s Best Colleges” rankings for 2010. Forbes has Murray State’s annual cost listed as $25,106 per student, which I reported, but the amount—which was also reported by The Paducah Sun—is misleading. Further research shows that figure represents the cost for out-of-state students living on campus. In-state tuition and fees, according to Forbes, are $5,748. Have a great Thanksgiving and wonderful week!
Information provided to iSurf News by Brent Yonts
Posted by Karen Orange - iSurf News


iSurf Local News & Community Information Affecting Madisonville and Hopkins County Kentucky. Make us your homepage and send us your local news to publish. Add your news, calendar events, or FREE classifieds easily with registration and use of our easy features at the top of the page. Madisonville - Hopkins County Kentucky's homepage! All iSurf Information and Programming Rights are reserved and can be used only with proper reference and link back to this site unless otherwise released.

All Rights Reserved
Copyright © 2010 iSurfWKY, Inc.