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Doree Baklash: 'We don’t want to go from an oligopoly

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Posted: October 3, 2009 4:08 p.m.
Updated: October 4, 2009 4:55 a.m.
The town hall meeting held Sept. 26 at College of the Canyons, hosted by Congressman Howard P. "Buck" McKeon, R-Santa Clarita, is the stuff our Founding Fathers participated in and advocated, consisted of average Americans standing up to be counted and heard.

A fair estimate of those opposed to universal health care, aka ObamaCare, and those in favor of the government option appeared to be about 80 percent opposed to 20 percent in favor.

It was an interesting experience as, simply put, these town hall meetings are occurring around the country on an issue that has the potential to change America as we know it.

I went because I am a mom and I want my children and future grandchildren to enjoy the essence of what makes this country great: The understanding that it is the individual with the drive to succeed who achieves greatness and brings the country with him or her.

The country does not make the people; the people make the country. The people who shaped this country, our Founding Fathers, understood that it is the country's job to create the environment in which rugged individuals could succeed.

Further, it is this mom's opinion that the Americans who oppose ObamaCare do not for a moment delude themselves to believe that reform is not required in health care insurance or that the executives within the industry are angels or not part of the problem.

There are problems - problems that are unconscionable - like the denial of individual people, human beings, on the basis of preexisting conditions, or the greed of companies looking at their profit margin before human life.

Let our current leadership be clear: Americans are compassionate and intelligent people.

The issue is not whether or not problems exist. The issue is how to best resolve the problems; there is no argument that there are problems.

Nonetheless, are the majority of Americans willing to allow the government to step in and take over our health care? Will a government take over make life better or worse for most Americans?

During the town hall meeting, a member of the audience, a young man in a wheelchair, struck me with his insight.

He spoke from a place of great knowledge as he lives with a chronic health care issue and had recently made the transition from private health care insurance to government disability insurance.

He described the private health care insurance industry as an oligopoly - the few controlling the marketplace.

This experienced young man spoke of how he was required to battle with private health care insurance.

An example that he gave was a box of gloves that he could buy from the local pharmacy for $5, yet his private health care insurance company sent him a bill for $100 for the same box of gloves.

The thing is, he explained, now that he has made the transition to government disability insurance, when he calls in because there is a problem, it takes hours to get to a live body. And if they don't like what he has to say, they just hang up on him.

This young man struck me as profound in his wisdom when he went on to say, "We don't want to go from an oligopoly to a monopoly."

He understood that reform and improvement were demanded, but a monopoly was not the solution.

The vast majority of Americans also understand that a government takeover is not only not the American way, but it is not going to make our lives better to go from dealing with a few groups who have too much power - the health care executives - to one group that has almost absolute power - the government.

Herein lies the vast divide between the progressive Obama administration and the American people on the issue of health care reform.

Doree Baklash is a Santa Clarita resident. Her column reflects her own views and not necessarily those of The Signal.


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