Archived Story

Residents should beware

Published 10:08am Monday, September 24, 2012 Updated 12:11pm Monday, September 24, 2012

I have to tip my hat to the letter writer from Erhard, John Koepcke, who has downloaded the 3,492-page federal health care act — more passionately known as ObamaCare — on his computer, and has begun reading it.

The one paragraph he quoted in his letter, which talked about “current liability percentages” brought me back to my days studying physics in college. You read the first paragraph, and know you are in for a long, torturous evening of reading.

I’m fairly certain he’s on the money when he wonders who wrote the bill, what the person billed the government to write it, and how many of the politicians who voted on the issue — for or against — actually read and understood it.

More certainly, I question that those who argue so passionately for or against it — and typically begin to call names at those who aren’t on their side of the issue — have actually read the bill, all 3,492 pages of it.

I can make no such claims that I have read the bill. I have not. The only things I know, or think I know, about the health care bill are as follows:

• Those under the age of 25 (or around there) will now be able to stay on their parents’ health insurance plan.

• There’s something in there about a prescription drug “donut hole” that will be filled. I don’t get Medicare, so I’m not sure how that works.

• I have heard from the head of our company’s health insurance provider — a Republican, just to clarify — that private businesses will be charged more, though I’m not high enough in the company to know how that will affect our company’s bottom line.

• Through the Supreme Court ruling, I understand that those who do not receive health insurance by choice —in other words, employees who have access to a company health insurance plan, but decide they’d rather not spend the money on it — are soon going to be required to get one.

That’s about it. And frankly, I’m not even sure I’m right on the things listed above. I’m sure there’s someone who will make a comment about how “misinformed” I am about the aspects I mention.

As a result, I choose not to get into a passionate argument about the health care bill with someone who feels passionately about it. I don’t know enough to argue my case.

But I question that the majority of citizens who are making passionate arguments — the ones holding up those signs at political rallies — know much more than I do about the health care bill.

It made me believe that health care isn’t the only thing government does, or doesn’t do, that the public doesn’t really understand.

Everyone seems to have an opinion on lots of things the government: defense, roads, assistance to the poor and education to name a few.

Most will argue their case to the extreme.

But do they really understand how the government programs that handle these services work, and how effective they are, good or bad?

I’ve heard that the Tea Party believes the best thing for our country is to just get rid of government. I’ve heard that the extreme left says it’s best to let government solve all our problems.

I’m certain that most Americans don’t agree with either philosophy. But since our political system has eliminated the vast majority of moderates, we only have the extremists to pick from.

Both sides are counting on the fact that the majority of Americans will pick their side to the point where only the Tea Party, or the extreme left, will own the presidency, the House and Senate, all the power positions in state governments, and everything else in between.

Once their party becomes “king,” and they can do exactly what they want, everything in our country will fall into place.

Be careful what you wish for, I say. Because even kings have had a difficult time figuring out what’s best for their subjects — if, of course, they cared about their subjects.


Joel Myhre is The Journal’s Publisher. Email him at


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