Health care debate filled with name calling

I’m 70 years old now, retired, and no longer able to claim expertise in any particular area except perhaps one – name calling. I’m still pretty good at telling the difference between a reasoned discussion and a name-calling session.

With a surname like Pugh – pronounced “Pew”- my grade school education featured a strong independent study component. Playground name calling would entail homework requiring off playground “reasonable discussions.”

But at no time on any playground have I witnessed the level of name calling occasioned by the Affordable Care Act (Obamacare). Never followed by a reasonable discussion; you always know the value of the names used.

Much of my adult life I’ve witnessed efforts to improve our healthcare system. The problems have always been the same: compared to other nations we pay more – a lot more – for both care and drugs; our outcomes aren’t as good; and, unlike them, everyone is not insured. Obamacare addresses all these issues initially by extending coverage to everyone, young and old, thereby spreading the risk – it’s simple and efficient – but you’d think some people were being ask to back-flip off the jungle gym.

Our state senator, John Moolenaar, recently voted to deny the expansion of healthcare coverage to thousands of his constituents. His failure, according to a Detroit Free Press report, promoted a delay in universal coverage that will cost $7 million per day in lost federal reimbursements, funds sorely needed by our hospital and other health care organizations.

In 2011, Sen. Moolenaar – same guy – gave himself what he seeks to deny to others: he voted to ensure lifetime medical coverage for he and his family – all at taxpayer expense.

Maybe we should pay a visit to the playground of Sen Moollenaar; do a little name calling. There appears no chance for a reasoned discussion.

Douglas A. Pugh

Alpena