Letters to the Editor

Tuesday, June 30, 2009 at 12:00am

Health care for America now

I went to [Washington,] D.C. last week and met with my congressman and senators to express the need for real health care reform and it was real productive.

Congressman Jim Cooper of the 5th district and my representative said he is in full support of President Obama and the plan for real health care reform to include the public option.

I also spoke with chief of staff to Sen. Lamar Alexander and a staffer of Sen. Bob Corker and found them open to the discussion of health care reform. Their positions are different from that of my Congressman but there is room for some common ground.

I told the stories of patients and friends who have been crushed by the burden of health care cost. I tried to show how vulnerable the middle class is to financial devastation when a health care crisis develops in their lives. I shared the stories of a friend of mine who had a traumatic brain injury and is now facing bills that are leading his family to financial ruins and how his health coverage and prescription cost are so expensive that he may loose everything he has worked for his entire life. His family will suffer all because our health care system is broken.

We can't miss this opportunity as citizens to get involved in shaping the health care reform debate. I am optimistic that a plan that includes choice, access and coverage for all will come out of the house and am hopeful that the senate can achieve the same.

I’m hoping as a registered nurse to see the future of health care improved so that patients are treated as people and not commodities. We as a nation have the opportunity to say that we value life not only in the womb but through out the span of ones life. We can do this, and should do this now, as it is long overdue.

Michael Chapman, RN,

Submit letters by e-mail at letters@nashvillecitypaper.com

152 Comments on this post:

By: Captain Nemo on 6/30/09 at 4:49

Good morning.

Good letter Mr. Chapeman.

I'm sure that the chief will show you how wrong you are.

By: arkay61 on 6/30/09 at 4:50

If you think they are crushed now, just wait. How will you feel when coverage for your friends and patients is denied for no other reason that some bean counter doesn't think they need it? Remember the public outrage that broke out some years back over the HMO's and the bureaucratic nightmare they caused? As BO says "you haven't seen nothing yet."


By: Captain Nemo on 6/30/09 at 5:12

Verbal Cartoon

Two Chief Limbaugh fairies make their nightly visit to the home of a Limbaugh follower. One slips a tube into the ear of the sleeping dreamer and removes any common sense that has accumulated during the day.

The other removes Rush Quotes from the bag that it carries. Into the other ear of the devotee goes..."The Honeymoon is over" "Really" "OK...here is my hot button again" "Socialism" "Communist" "Just my opinion" "If I am proven wrong...so be it" "Now this is funny" "Now just out of curiosity"

By: idgaf on 6/30/09 at 5:16

Cooper needs to go.

Do you really think health care will be any different with the government running it?

Are you not familar with rationed care in CA and the UK? Are you not familar with the direction TnCare was headed?

Government healthcare is not free, the cost are just hidden and usually higher for rationed care.

btw did you know perscriptions are NOT covered in CA? Also you may find yourself working cheaper too. Who paid for your trip?

By: Captain Nemo on 6/30/09 at 5:20

By: arkay61 on 6/30/09 at 5:50

How will you feel when coverage for your friends and patients is denied for no other reason that some bean counter doesn't think they need it?

I don't suppose there are not any bean counters in the Private Sector, that would deny coverage for no other reason than they think that they need it?

By: Captain Nemo on 6/30/09 at 5:41


There is no bureaucratic in the private sector.

By: Loner on 6/30/09 at 5:46

Good morning, Nashville!

Great LTE, it is a well-written letter, detailing first-hand experience. Michael Chapman has an opinion, he backed it up with action - visits to his Congressmen and a letter to the editor. That sure beats sitting around and bitching. Kudos to Nurse Chapman!

Idgaf used the term, "rationed care" twice, he must be a loyal little ditto-head. Fear mongers on the GOP side of the aisle like to scare folks with terms like "nationalized health care", "socialized medicine" and, of course, "rationed care". The fear campaign seems to be working, especially in the red states, where fear usually trumps human reasoning.

By: TH on 6/30/09 at 5:52

Dear Chapman,
It is noble of you to care about your friends. Please feel free to pay any of their bills with your own money. However, please do not feel free to spend OTHER PEOPLE's MONEY and don't think you have any right to do so. Next time you propose changes, please, if they are to be funded by OTHER PEOPLE's MONEY please label them as such. And, by the way, it is not noble or worthy to develop charity proposals with other people's money, it shows you as being someone who is personally UNcharitable because you don't want to do it on your own.

By: Captain Nemo on 6/30/09 at 5:56

Yes Dear Chapman. OTHER PEOPLE's MONEY should go to a war of choice in Iraq.

By: dargent7 on 6/30/09 at 6:05

Chapman sounds sincere. And yet, he's still piled on.
I think if Mohandas Gandhi, John Lennon, Mother Teresa wrote a LTE, this group would say, "Take your wacky peaceful ideas and efforts and get lost!"

By: Loner on 6/30/09 at 6:11

Thank you, Ditto-head TH, for reminding us of another favorite term used by the fear-peddling, Republican PR machine, "other people's money". You used the term three times in your brief post.. Did you know that Maggie Thatcher ppularized that term, back in the eighties?

I understand your pain, TH, I feel that if Americans wish to support holy war, state-sponsored assassinations, apartheid, Jim Crow for Arab Israelis and race-based/ faith-based colonialism in Palestine, they should do so with their own money, not "other people's money".

By: Dragon on 6/30/09 at 6:21

While I appreciate Mr. Chapman's opinion, I would like to see what health CARE reform he would propose. The only reforms being offered are health INSURANCE reforms, and that consists of government regulation and control of the insurance industry.

Then again, Obama did propose cutting Medicare/Medicaid by $300 billion and counts another $300 billion in Medicare/Medicaid "savings". He realizes that that system is broke and is trying to institute another massive government health insurance system to "hit the reset button".

By: Loner on 6/30/09 at 6:40

Isn't it odd that per capita US aid to Israel exceeds federal per capita aid to some states within our union of states? The Israelis pay nothing in US taxes, but nobody on either side of the political aisle dares to complain about this particular inequity and misuse of "other people's money".

The relatively wealthy Israelis are the top recipients of US foreign aid, which by US law can only increase every year., (see the Cranston Amendment). Where is the howling over this generosity with "other people's money"?

Although President Obama has openly requested a freeze on US-sponsored, Israeli housing starts for Jewish "settlers", PM Netanyahu has ridiculed and defied the president's request and has announced a resumption of the illegal, provocative "settlement" activitiy.

Now Obama seems to be backing down on his request; I can't say that I blame the prez, the Israeli papers are painting Obama as an existential threat to their utopian schemes.

Obama knows history. JFK demanded a halt to Israel's nascent nuclear weapons program, in the spring of 1963, in November of that year he was assassinated; LBJ, of course, made no such demands on the Israelis. The Israelis seem to like Joe Biden, they distrust Obama; will we witness another state-sponsored Israeli assassination, right here in the USA?

By: Kosh III on 6/30/09 at 6:47

1. We already have rationing: Lamar and Limbaugh have huge cadillac rations, millions of taxpayers have a ration of nothing.

2. No bureaucratic private sector? Puhleeze.
A few years back I had a pinched nerve in my foot. The Doctor recommended custom orthotic inserts. Aetna refused coverage for the $400 orthotics but agreed to pay for surgery to remove the nerve. Surgery would have cost at least 10 times more and put me out of work for over a month.
Despite appeals, letters and calls from my Dr. the bean counters refused the cheaper and more effective option.
I paid for the inserts out of pocket. Problem solved.

3. TennCare was a problem because Sundquist AND Bredesen administered the program poorly. Had it been properly run it would have been superior to the old system it replaced.
Did you know that TennCare used to charge premiums and was planning to start charging copays but Bredesen eliminated both. No wonder it was costly!

By: Funditto on 6/30/09 at 7:25

Yeah, I don't get why repelicans have no problem with government-funded out of control spending on defense, space exploration and the like but when it comes to caring for our own fellow citizens they have melt downs. it makes no sense whatsoever.

By: Blanketnazi2 on 6/30/09 at 7:26

because, Funditto, that's what jesus would do.

By: Blanketnazi2 on 6/30/09 at 7:26

at least according to chief.

By: Funditto on 6/30/09 at 7:32

I thought jesus said to help the least of us. and love one another.

By: Blanketnazi2 on 6/30/09 at 7:37

huh, that's what i thought too. silly me.

By: Dragon on 6/30/09 at 7:42

It is the government's constitutional responsibility to provide for our common defense. It is not the government's job to pay for your healthcare.

By: Loner on 6/30/09 at 7:43

You heard wrong, Funditto and BN. Contrary to what the nuns believed, Christ was a heterosexual, virgin stud who packed heat, hated taxes, hated Arabs, had contempt for the environment, supported the military, believed in the Jewish State concept and was a Jewish supremacist. (JK)

By: Loner on 6/30/09 at 7:46

How about the common defense against disease and poverty, Dragon? The general welfare and the pursuit of happiness were equally important concepts to the Founders.

By: Dragon on 6/30/09 at 7:47

Read the preamble again. It states the reason behind the constitution that follows. Paying for your healthcare is NOT an enumerated power.

By: BeenFranklin on 6/30/09 at 7:48

A prominent Tory party (conservative party) leader in the UK recently called the British health care system a "national treasure" even as they try to add more private options. As for wait times we have very good employee based health care yet my daughter has to wait two months to see a pediatric specialist. I don't see that changing either way.

And our health care system is killing American companies who have to spend 20% profit off the top for health care for their employees that no other non US companies have to pay. Now that is pro business.

By: Funditto on 6/30/09 at 7:53

Dragon i don't think roads, police and fire protection, libraries and space travel were enumerated but we still have them. Where's the outrage?????

By: Loner on 6/30/09 at 7:56

Hey, the Declaration of Independence referred to the American aborigines (the "Indians") as "savages". The words "slave" and "slavery" were carefully omitted from the original US Constitution, sweeping the problem under the rug for a few decades. Should we return to that sort of 18th and 19thy century thinking, Dragon et al.? Methinks not.

By: Blanketnazi2 on 6/30/09 at 7:56

Funditto, we are a Christian nation when it is convenient. You know, for things like ProLife, not letting gays marry, etc. We're a secular nation when it comes to things like healthcare.

By: BeenFranklin on 6/30/09 at 7:58

Dragon "Paying for your healthcare is NOT an enumerated power."

You may be right however we pay for it anyway when folks with a cold or a splinter in their finger show up at the emergency room. Who pays for that we do as tax payers. We must find another way.
I think, just as if you drive in this state you must carry insurance we should be required to care health insurance and if it's not paid for then just like a student loan when that tax refund check comes around you will find these premiums taken out of that check.

By: house_of_pain on 6/30/09 at 7:59

Funditto, the part about space travel is right after the section covering internet taxation.

By: Loner on 6/30/09 at 7:59

Welcome to the forum, Been Franklin. Your point about burdening US employers with health care benefits resonates with me. This puts us at a competitive disadvantage while leaving huge segments of the population without coverage. There must be a better alternative.

By: girliegirl on 6/30/09 at 8:02

@Michael Chapman, you'll get your wish and POTUS will pass his healthcare reform, and low and behold, you'll receive something "lesser" than what you currently have, because that's how socialized medicine works. READ the transcripts from the ABC interview....don't watch the infomercial. READ it. POTUS carefully states that nothing will change in what you have...for NOW. NOW was the key word. You WILL stand in a line in a year or maybe sooner, because doctors won't work for LESS than they currently make. And trial lawyers will ALWAYS exist, especially since they comprise the inhabitants of Congress. So what will change? There's only so much of "a thing" to pass around, right. In theory, you have a limited supply. So the government will "ration" the limited supply. THAT'S how government works. And it will be dispensed equally.
Caveat: People with MONEY will buy into a private medical Coop, just as they always have. They'll get the best medical attention, care, medicine, and they won't stand in a line BECAUSE THEY HAVE MONEY. This hierarchy has always existed since the beginning of time.

By: house_of_pain on 6/30/09 at 8:02

BF, I don't think forcing people to carry health insurance is the answer.
Also, not everyone gets a tax refund check.

By: BeenFranklin on 6/30/09 at 8:04

My point is nationalized healthcare is Pro-Business and we have can't just do nothing.

By: BeenFranklin on 6/30/09 at 8:05

House, this is true but we have to start somewhere.

By: Loner on 6/30/09 at 8:08

Thank you, girliegirl, for such a manly reiteration of those GOP buzzwords - "socialized medicine" and "ration". Girlie girls who listen to Limbaugh and watch FOX news are usually manly girls. Have you got the hots for Sarah Palin too?

By: Blanketnazi2 on 6/30/09 at 8:09

Been is correct in saying that we are paying for it anyway.

By: BeenFranklin on 6/30/09 at 8:09

and forcing someone to be responsible for their own health may be necessary.
Like auto insurance a young person might just carry the minimum and as they get older might want to get more coverage.

That way the insurance companies are not as threatened.

By: Funditto on 6/30/09 at 8:10

I hate this argument. Ya'll have a good day.

By: Loner on 6/30/09 at 8:11

Bye. bye, Funditto.

By: Dragon on 6/30/09 at 8:14

By: BeenFranklin on 6/30/09 at 8:58
"You may be right however we pay for it anyway when folks with a cold or a splinter in their finger show up at the emergency room. Who pays for that we do as tax payers. We must find another way."

Been, we pay for it, but we pay outrageous healthcare bills, not taxes. That is the argument, should we increase taxes so the government pays for it?

By: BeenFranklin on 6/30/09 at 8:16

The problem is this shouldn't be an argument. This is something we as American MUST DO. One way or the other we have to fix this or we won't have any American businesses that produce anything here it will all be made in countries that have nationalized health care.
Then what will we do? Tariffs will not work if we have to do it for everything!!!

By: Loner on 6/30/09 at 8:17

I'm heading up North, again. To Camp Drum in Watertown. See ya later!

By: Dragon on 6/30/09 at 8:17

By: BeenFranklin on 6/30/09 at 9:04
My point is nationalized healthcare is Pro-Business and we have can't just do nothing.

Wrong! The proposal is that business will be required by law to either provide health insurance or pay the government 8% of their payroll. Currently, the businesses that offer insurance are not compelled to and consider that part of the employee compensation. That will change under the socialist policies being proposed.

By: slacker on 6/30/09 at 8:20

The same people showing up in emergency rooms now for minor problems, will continue to do so, even after Obama's health care plan passes congress.
And they will not be turned away.

By: BeenFranklin on 6/30/09 at 8:22

For Dragon - unfortunatly we do pay for it in taxes.

The large majority of the uninsured (78%) are American citizens. ... Federal and state tax dollars subsidized $35 billion (about 85%) of these costs, and that funding largely goes to hospitals ... I


By: BeenFranklin on 6/30/09 at 8:26

Dragon there are other ways my point is we must do something. I just gave you a simple example of how to do it. Make folks responsible for their own health and healthcare.

By: Blanketnazi2 on 6/30/09 at 8:27

oh, Been. don't baffle them with facts - lol!

By: BeenFranklin on 6/30/09 at 8:28

and 8% is much better than the 20% American business now pay!!

By: BenDover on 6/30/09 at 8:37

Mr RN... did you tell them the stories of the people who call 911 for an ambulance so they can get a ride to the liquor store next door to the ER?

Did you tell them the story about the flood of people in the ER who are not really sick but want to lay out of work and need a Dr's excuse to do so?

This letter smells like Bullsh*t to me.

By: pandabear on 6/30/09 at 8:37

You shouldn't have to travel to Washington and ask them to consider
what you have to say. For some strange reason these phoney baloney politicians have manipulated reasoning to the point where this seems "reasonable".

It's not.

They are suppose to come to us. We hired them to do what's right for us,
not the other way around. We tell them, they don't tell us.

To the extent that it is not that way (and of course, it's not) that's the
extent of change that we need.

Stop letting them "vote" themselves the best, 100% covered, free health
care "our" money can buy.

Make them buy the same health care that we do, accept the same
health care that we do, and you'll see change pretty fast.

They don't live in the same world that we do.
They live above the law. That's the change that needs to be made first.