Dear Editor, December 23, 2013
Who doesn’t need a 2nd chance? Who doesn’t need forgiveness or a resurrection of hope? Even if you are not a believer in the religious aspect of Christmas, now is still a good time for a good time and a renewal of your spirit – come join in the celebration at various houses of worship this Christmas season.
Even if you are not convinced or completely believe, join in and participate with a people called to love, forgiveness, charity and service. In general, there is no requirement that you have to believe first before you participate or serve. Sometimes belief comes in the doing. If the belief never comes while participating, your time could still have been spent in a charity service that churches and other places of worship often sponsor or making lasting bonds with (hopefully) positive hopeful people while serving.
Is religion a crutch? Can a crutch become a tool? Can this belief become a great truth and wonderful part of you? We all need crutches – we all have some failing or injury in some way or other – it doesn’t have to be physical (Christians believe that we all fall short spiritually). It can be in your heart, mind, body or soul. You have a choice; you can call it a crutch or simply as another way of being more of who you really want to be.
And actually, admitting weakness to yourself is strength.
Take the plunge, instead of fence sitting. No one can be certain of all the answers in life or after. Taking a chance is real life. This leap of faith could actually be a small hop that covers a huge chasm.
Too often we focus too much on our differences and what separates rather than our sameness and what unites us as human beings. There are huge all inclusive mega churches or other homes of religious belief and there are smaller intimate you-know-everybody’s-name churches – plenty of choices to fit your own individual spirit.
Ultimately, it is good to have a people that have faith that a supreme being wants them to behave by rules that have been eons tested for a better society.
Who doesn’t need to know that they have a special purpose? Why not believe that there is something more to our lives than birth, a short existence then nothingness?
A famous religious leader once said that choosing faith could be the most eternal decision you make. But if the true believers are wrong – then it would simply be life changing – not a bad bargain either way.
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Dept. of Common Sense Plan for Hawaii Health Connector
Dear Editor, December 19, 2013
The Hawaii Health Connector is the online health insurance exchange for Hawaii. The Connector was established as a non-profit organization in 2011 by the Hawaii State Legislature through Act 205, in order to comply with the federal Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA) of 2010.
To date, Hawaii has received approximately $205 million dollars in federal grant money to support the build and implementation of the Connector.
The Hawaiʻi Health Connector website states:
“Hawaiʻi Health Connector operates at no cost to the state. It is funded by federal grant dollars through 2014; after that, it will be self-sustaining”…..meaning there will be huge insurance premium increases or tax increases to cover the operating costs after 2014.
Assuming there are 20,000 people who may get new insurance under the ACA, this translates to $10,000 per person, just to operate the site. What a waste of money.
And you would still have to buy insurance!
To fix the problem of access to care and decrease the costs:
- Skip the connector, skip the middleman,
- Skip the insurance companies.
- Give the money directly to the primary care physicians.
If we would give each of the 500 Primary Care physicians in Hawaii even $5000 per patient –which is half the $10,000 already allotted to the Connector, each physician would be able to give exceptional care and would need to care for only 40 new patients each to cover the 20,000 patients.
The state would save $100 million.
Multiplying that times 50 states equals $5 billion in savings.
At a time when the federal government has no money, (they’ve spent all our tax dollars) it is ridiculous to expand these state run plans, especially when there are cheaper and much better alternatives.
Stuart Lerner, MD