Glenwood Springs, CO Colorado
Just for fun, check out the website “isidewith.com.” Visitors can answer a list of questions that will say which presidential candidates you agree with. In my case, there were seven presidential candidates that I had agreement with, from 96 percent to 12 percent. Five of those I had either never heard of or barely heard of. As of now, some 15 may be on the ballot in Colorado. So who the heck is Jill Stein, with whom I scored 96 percent?
Ms. Stein is the Green Party candidate. She is a doctor who graduated from Harvard Medical School. She became active in Massachusetts state politics about 10 years ago when a number of groups were successful in getting voters to pass a Clean Election Law to get big money out of politics. Soon thereafter, the Massachusetts Legislature, Democratically controlled, overturned the law on an unrecorded vote. That ticked her off.
The Green Party is advocating for a Green New Deal patterned on the work of President Franklin Roosevelt: Put people back to work in the green economy by building alternative energy and rebuilding aging infrastructure. And Ms. Stein, as a health professional, is especially concerned about the damage to public health, and particularly of children, which is the direct result of industries that spew poison into the air and water and work against healthy lifestyles. FDR fought against the big money to pass the landmark legislation such as Social Security and controls on big business.
Now we have two big-money candidates vying for the election: Obama and Romney. More will be spent on this election than on any several others in history. Go Green if you think an oligarchy is a bad idea.
People have railed at Ralph Nader for bringing us George Bush. That’s a myth, perpetrated by the Democratic Party bosses. Exit polling proved that an equal number of people from both parties voted for Mr. Nader, and also folks who weren’t planning to vote anyway.
Actually, it is time for a change.
I would like to take time to thank Carl Heck for his brilliant letter of clarification on Sept. 2 titled “What the GOP was really saying” at the Republican National Convention. It really set me straight and cleared up any questions I had about the Republican agenda.
On voter integrity, I thought the concern, especially with the candidates so close, was that only American citizens voted, not someone here illegally or not eligible to vote. Washington composed a list of those individuals that our state used for verification. If the list wasn’t intended for this, why was it composed? I was way off on this one.
Abortion is one issue that I admit is not black and white to me. Only women who have been raped and become pregnant can answer that question, but why would they worry about education, health care or feeding the child? Ask any illegal alien how the system works and they will get you set up. I guess I am wrong if I don’t want my tax dollars paying for abortions. My thought is if people feel strongly enough they would be willing to support Planned Parenthood financially and take it out of the hands of government, ending the problem. Wrong again.
Energy is a hard one. On one hand we have a president who has shut off drilling along our coast, stopped a pipeline that would have provided a lot of jobs, but sent a few billion dollars to a few South American countries so they could drill along their coasts and ship the oil here. I guess “drill, baby, drill” is only good for them and not us. How many solar companies did Mr. Obama lend millions to that went broke? I forget.
Chicago, home of President Obama, has the strictest handgun laws in America and one of the highest murder rates. Gun control did its job, only the criminals have them now.
I am out of space, so taxes and who to bomb are going to have to wait. Besides, I am a Tea Party member and have thought too much already.
Let’s strip away the political rhetoric and look at the benefits of the Affordable Health Care Act of 2010 that primary care physicians and their patients see every day.
I am a 1959 graduate of Aspen High School and a family physician with a passion for prevention who has practiced in Glenwood Springs since 1973.
Prior to passage of the health care reform bill, referred to as Obamacare, I witnessed a costly, fragmented, inefficient, unfair medical system in which physicians were paid to order tests and do procedures and to take care of sick people rather than prevent disease; where many patients could not find insurance because of pre-existing conditions and therefore received inadequate or no care; and where patients without insurance received expensive and episodic care in emergency rooms, driving up medical costs for everyone.
Since health care reform in 2010, physicians are now getting paid for performance (patient outcomes); Medicare and private insurance are now paying for wellness and prevention; patients can no longer be denied insurance for pre-existing conditions; and young people are now covered under their parents’ insurance.
Does the Affordable Health Care need to be tweaked? Of course. It’s not a perfect bill and very few are. But it was clearly an important step in the right direction, and achieved something both political parties have been talking about for decades. Think long and hard before voting in two months; let’s not go back to the bad old days of American medicine.
Greg Feinsinger, M.D.
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