Health care ‘failure’, insurance costs, PG&E bill

Failure was Trump GOP
not of quality health care

The Sept. 27 headline, “Another health care failure,” misstated the outcome of the Republican legislative effort.

It should have stated, “Another health care success,” or “Another GOP failure” or “Another Trump failure.” Viva Obamacare.

John Zugnoni

Give people money, let
them pick how to spend

The Sept. 19 editorial claims that “all people in this rich nation should have access to health care.” But everyone does have access to care, just not subsidized access. Health care is only one facet of a satisfactory life. Having food, shelter, maybe a car for commuting to work, and funds for a child’s education are other important life elements.

Everyone should have access to basic food, shelter and education. For all else, give everyone a gift of, say, $20,000 a year. Let the recipients then decide for themselves whether they want to spend it on health care, a used car to commute to work so they can pay for healthcare, or on their children.

We do pay way too much for health care. Blame our Congress for that. They gave the FDA permission to OK drugs without ever considering the benefit-to-cost ratio. Thus, major pharmaceutical companies increasingly pursue solutions to rare diseases for which they can charge us $300,000 per year. Many other countries balance benefits against the cost and will limit the amount that can be charged for certain drugs. The FDA should do the same.

Craig Bender
Walnut Creek

Insurance industry is what
eats up health care costs

The recent editorial, “Sanders’ bill must show us the money,” mentions the powerful health insurance industry. That industry provides no service but wastes 20 percent of the health care dollar on profit and administrative waste.

On the other hand, Medicare spends 97 percent of its money on actual health care.

It is because of the power and money of the health insurance business that we in the U.S. pay way more for coverage and don’t cover everybody. Some of that health care money goes to lobbyists and legislators to ensure their continued profit, instead of providing care.

At this point, there are many uninsured. And even among the insured, one in three delays seeking medical care due to deductibles and co-pays, resulting in more advanced disease and poorer outcomes. The purpose of Medicare is to take care of patients who are sick or injured.

With such a single-payer system, we could negotiate lower drug prices and medical equipment prices and do better preventive care, and it would allow doctors and patients to be in charge of health care decisions.

Judy Ballinger
El Cerrito

Lawsuit displays a distinct
lack of knowledge by DAs

One has to wonder about the lack of knowledge the district attorneys of Oakland and San Francisco, both filed a lawsuit against the major energy companies blaming them for global warming.

Global warming is a product of man’s desire to improve their standard of living. It first started when man was able to start a fire; there was a big increase in carbon dioxide into atmosphere with the start of the industrial revolution of the 1860s, using coal as a source of energy for heat, and to operate the factories; and in the early 1900s with the distillation of crude oil.

From the distillation came the chemical used for plastics, paints, pharmaceuticals, asphalts and many of products to improve the standard of living as well as an increase in carbon dioxide.

Unless one is willing to go back to the Stone Ages, global warming is here to stay. All these advancements were made by the use of understanding chemistry. Let’s hope the scientists can design a procedure that will reverse global warming, but still maintain our standard of living.

Alfred Bruzzone

Experiencing some solar
shock bills from PG&E

I have been using solar power for the past two years. Recently, I received from PG&E my annual “True-Up” bill in the amount of $938.36. I have to admit I have enjoyed the low electric bills during the year based on the energy I feed back into the grid.

My PG&E bills do include the estimated Net Energy Metering (NEM) charges for the month. By adding up the previous 12 months of estimated NEM charges, they came to $882.13, an average of $73.51 per month and a difference of $56.19 for the year.

Now, it seems to me that PG&E could easily include the estimated NEM charge for each month with the billed electric charges. Since the final charges do not balance out exactly the same at the end of the year, it appears they could apply the difference as the final True-Up billing, which would be much easier to absorb. I’m sure other PG&E customers are experiencing the same shock affect as I am.

James Barrett



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