From the Lefthand Corner: We all need health care - particularly seniors


The big or biggest political issue for many, if not most, of us seniors is our health care. We worry about how much we are going to need and how we are going to pay for it.

Our ancestors may have lived their whole lives without any formalized health care, but they didn’t live very long.

For those now who are of limited income or coverage and in need of extensive treatment or expensive medicine, the concern can become overwhelming obsession.

For those of us who are more fortunate health wise and are over 65, our medical problems are manageable, but still a matter of continual concern. For the past 20 years, I’ve been able to identify as a grateful recipient of “socialized medicine." The "grateful" part is true; the “socialized,” not quite.

We’re not as socialized as England or Scandinavia, but we are a lot more so than many realize or will admit.


Our federal and state governments spend huge dollar amounts for our individual medical expenses. More huge sums are spent in building, maintaining and subsidizing hospitals and other medical facilities. Yet more huge sums are expended all the way down to local government levels to provide auxiliary streets and parking, and other means of travel to and from our medical facilities.

Some say we have the greatest health care in the world. Others say yes, but at the highest cost, which is clearer and of wider margin. We allow exorbitant profit on drugs. And exorbitant insurance premiums.

We don’t need health care insurance. We need health care assurance.

On the one hand, we have a current president who is a constant threat to what we do have now. Over the past four years he has made repeated threats to cut Medicare financing as he has done with Social Security. He has made repeated threats and joined with Republican efforts to get rid of the existing Affordable Care Act, without articulating any adequate replacement.

Over his whole first term, Trump has been promising, then vacillating on some undefined health care plan, depending upon which drug company or other big contributor snarled at him lately. Finally, in mid-July of this year, he promised to deliver on his detailed health plan within two weeks. Ho hum. Where is it?

On the other hand, we have the even-handed Joe Biden to consider and compare.

Biden says he’ll protect the bipartisan ACA that we have and improve from there. That will keep millions of Americans eligible for coverage and ensure protection for pre-existing conditions. It will keep the very helpful, if inadequate, doughnut hole drug coverage that came in under the younger Bush.

In addition, Biden’s plan proposes to allow all presently uncovered Americans to buy into a government plan like Medicare.


On other items that may be smaller numerically, but big to those directly affected, Biden proposes lifting the income cap to enable farmers, small business people and others to be eligible for health plan subsidies. He would also change the income aid calculation formulas to make more middle class people able to buy their health care plans at lower cost.

Biden presents a health care position that is reasonable, readable, understandable and achievable IF we elect him on Nov. 3. Support and vote for Joe Biden. You’ll be glad you did. We’ll be glad you did.

Don Bye - From the Lefthand Corner.jpg
Don Bye, columnist

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