Letters from our readers

19 November 2013

On the WSWS’s coverage of the Philippine typhoon

Thank you WSWS for your lucid and courageous reporting of the Philippine disaster. Trying to understand this cataclysm through the distorting lens of the corporate media leads only to confusion and eventual apathy towards the plight of the people. This of course is the main function of the corporate media in its service to its masters.

The WSWS on the other hand blows away the fog of propaganda that inevitably surrounds every big issue of the day, and in its honest and relentless dissection of the issues both strategic and humane, allows us to glimpse the essential truths about the world we inhabit.

JAC
16 November 2013

On The workers’ rebellion at Boeing

I am a Canadian living in Canada. I have never been an ardent union supporter. I have never been a union member. I have watched the business elite and their political puppets slowly eviscerate the middle across the G20 countries. I applaud the recent actions of the Boeing workers. Their courage, conviction, patriotism and is awe-inspiring!!! I pray that this is a tipping point for the new reality. That all men and women are created equal and that the collective will now protect the collective. Bravo.

Bob M
Canada
15 November 2013

On “Obama proposes “fix” to pro-corporate health care overhaul

Thanks Kate for your great reporting on the ACA. Your articles open the eyes of us all.

Bob C
15 November 2013

On “Staggering out-of-pocket costs shock consumers on Obamacare exchanges

Kate Randall, despite comparing apples to oranges in regard to pre-ACA health care plans and those offered on the exchanges, does touch on a significant issue with the individual policies provided by the ACA. That is that the deductibles are high, especially for low-income people. The Bronze plans are primarily aimed at preventing medical bankruptcy, and it is expected that routine medical costs, as well as the first portion of a costly event, will be paid out of pocket. Above the rather high deductible, insurance would take over, with no annual or lifetime limits, as exist under current individual policies. Consequently, if a family experiences a major medical event, the providers ought not to be coming for their houses and savings.

Nonetheless, low-income people with Bronze plans already face difficulties with routine medical expenses, and the ACA policies don’t address that well. Although such preventive measures as annual checkups would entail no out of pocket expenses, a visit to the doctor’s office could prove expensive. To some extent, as Randall states, this will result in foregone medical care. In addition, it would stand to reason that low-income families will do what they did before: go to the ER for non-emergencies and skip on the bill. This means that a major cost-saving element of health care reform—giving people better, more cost-effective options than the ER—may not be fulfilled by the health insurance exchange element of the ACA. (Expanded Medicaid will address this, but most Republican-controlled states have refused it.)

Obviously, some form of single-payer, such as Medicare for All, would be far preferable to the ACA. While preventing medical bankruptcy is a step in the right direction, the preservation of the role of private health insurance companies has resulted in a snarl of contradictions in the reform.

John B
18 November 2013

On “Dozens of Democrats back Republican anti-Obamacare bill

It may interest your readers to know that after United Health Care unilaterally dumped all of its subscribers out of its PPO program as of 31 December of this year at work, workers were then offered two other programs to join as a supposed alternative: Kaiser or Valley Health Care. One of the mandatory conditions by both of these corporations—required just this year according to a representative of the benefits department—is that subscribers must give up their democratic right to any trial by jury in case of medical malpractice in their hospitals or by their personnel. Instead, subscribers must agree to settle any issues through arbitration. If you do not agree to sign away this right, you get no health care coverage.

Those of your readers who are union members should be well acquainted with the fact that arbitrators are usually pro-boss and pro-corporation. Now that these corporations have been given the green light to screw working people to the max, they now demand that, in order to get any health care at all, we surrender our basic democratic rights so they can proceed full steam ahead to give us inferior health “care” with no accountability. Having ensured that we have no other alternative, such as publicly funded health care to keep costs down in the private sector and to maintain basic standards, we are being blackmailed into giving up our basic democratic rights proscribed in the Constitution, i.e., get coverage on our terms, or you get nothing.

Needless to say, the unions are waging no nationwide campaign or fight back against this criminality, only “protesting” the new requirements. Once all of us are required to sign away our democratic rights in order to get “health care” coverage from the private sector, what will be next?

Mike
17 November 2013

On “Washington’s puppet regime in Libya teeters on the brink

The coverage of what they called the “Libyan revolution” in Socialist Worker, International Socialist Review, and in Britain’s International Socialism Journal is so naive and confused—Initially they naively greeted events as a “revolution”. Then when saying the events’ patently imperialist character became obvious they expressed total confusion. E.g. ISJ: “As the reality of post-Gaddafi Libya emerges, the question will re-emerge of who this revolution was for.” SocialistWorker.org: “Hatred of the dictatorship and a thirst for democracy and freedom drove the uprising against Qaddafi when it first arose in February, clearly inspired by the revolutions against tyrants in Tunisia to Libya’s west, and Egypt to its east. But the character of Libya’s uprising has been twisted and transformed in the months since.” They just sound totally befuddled. Thanks WSWS for being unique in actually providing a clear, consistent and critical account from the beginning.

Charles T
18 November 2013

On “Indian Stalinists invoke Hindu-communalist threat

Good analysis that shows the shallowness and dark side of the campaign of both the major political parties as well as the communist parties that have long ago forgotten the struggle of the working people against the capitalist policies. However, many among the middle class, a significant influencer, believe in the namesake rivalry of NDA vs. UPA, and the third front appeal to the regionalists and sections of middle class averse to the two big players. Modi’s new fans are mainly from the urban middle class who either consider Muslims as their enemies or believe in Modi’s “development model”. Many of Modi’s opponents are Muslims who think they are “safe” with Congress. Besides asking the working class to unite, it is also important to address the concerns of the progressive but uninformed sections of the middle class and counter the misinformation campaign—UPA vs. NDA vs. third front.

Prabhakar
India
17 November 2013