(FORTRESS OF SOLITUDE, WEDNESDAY OCT. 18, 2017) – Health care, not the sexiest topic, doesn’t need to be decked out in Victoria’s Secret to be of vital interest to every living American — even some dead ones.

First, three general points need to be made:

  1. There’s no excuse for the United States to be the only country in the developed world not to have health insurance provided as a citizen’s rights. Constitutionally, personal health falls under our rights to pursue “life, liberty, and happiness.” If you’re not well, your apt not to be happy or to consider yourself truly free or alive. Moreover, the health of a citizenry is a national security issue every bit as much as secure borders and terrorism alerts. Yes, THE PLANET loathes Big Government, but pragmatically, there is no other agency with a large enough umbrella to provide blanket coverage. Theoretically, of course, it’s far different, but we remind all that utopia can never be considered a realistic option.
  2. To force employers to provide health insurance to workers violates every tenet of free enterprise. We should no more expect employers to pay worker premium that we would for them to pay employee utility or cable bills.
  3. Hardworking tax-paying U.S. citizens — as opposed to illegal immigrants, welfare cheats, and other assorted scammers who get a free ride — can thank an unholy alliance of politicians, lobbyists, insurance companies, medical industry bean counters, and drug companies for perpetrating the health insurance scam that hamstrings America and its budget, to say nothing of The Kapanskis’ household budget. The scam compares favorably to a mob-run shakedown racket: Regulations force you to pay monthly premiums (home, health, auto) as tribute to insurance companies. Insurers stand more than happy to take your hard-earned dollars on the premise that you will never have to use the actual policy. Have an accident and try to collect, however, and you become The Enemy. Insurers may (or may not) pay. When they do, it’s grudgingly and often partially. Finally, in the end, they raise your premiums for having the audacity to utilize coverage.

This leads us to the burning question of reform. How can we change such a corrupt system? Short answer: The same way you move a mountain, namely, one stone at a time.

Say what you want about President Donald Trump‘s executive order on ACA health care plans. The fact remains that Trump took a step made necessary by the failure of Obamacare. Here’s the bitter harvest of Obamacare:

  • It decimates people who don’t have acess to employer health plans but now find Obamacare out of reach because of gigantic jumps in premiums. Fact is, Obamacare left many more uninsured that the President’s initial proposal to repeal Obamacare. Denied an overhaul by a divided and dysfunctional Republican Congress, Trump is trying to move one stone at a time.
  • Obamacare doesn’t allow small businesses to form association pools to leverage lower premiums for workers. Small businesses once had that right. Obamacare saw to that. Try running a small business (as THE PLANET did for many years) and keep up with employee premiums without the right to join a small business pool.
  • The cost of skyrocketing premiums to the Dreaded Private Sector and to the economy are incalculable.
  • Over-regulation of plans.
  • Unrealistic minimum-coverage requirements.
  • Exorbitant copays.
  • Lack of consumer protections.
  • Lack of competition. A full third of counties forced into Obamacare’s exchange plans have no competitors. The  monopolies have unmercifully hammered companies, workers, and citizens.

Trump’s executive order seeks to remedy these onerous measures. In addition, Trump’s plan would allow those in between jobs to sign up for short-term health care plans. One-year plans would also be available to those who missed insurance deadlines or who have no other insurance options.

The President’s order now goes to the Labor, Health, and treasury departments for draft and formulation. Keep in mind that those regulations will be drawn up to include public comments. THE PLANET‘s column shall be included, including those of our readers.

As much as Trump’s opposition hates to admit it, when compared to his predecessor’s disastrous attempt at health care reform, the President’s order provides coverage, cost control, and better coverage.


A child whose life is full of threat and fear of punishment is locked into babyhood” — John Holt.



The Usual Disclaimer.


  1. Jonathan Melle
    October 17, 2017 at 8:27 pm #

    If Trump and his Republican majority in both chambers of U.S. Congress had a healthcare insurance bill, then they would have passed it by now. Trump is trying to chip away at Obamacare via Executive Orders. He flip-flopped today be supporting a 2-year extension of subsidies for low-income healthcare insurance recipients under Obamacare.

    Could you imagine have a child with a pre-existing condition and now knowing if he or she will receive healthcare throughout their life?

  2. Pat
    October 17, 2017 at 9:08 pm #

    I don’t agree with federally run government healthcare. Each state should have healthcare under their own control like we did with Romney Care here in Massachusetts. Having the federal government in charge of healthcare will create all kinds of problems because healthcare is so complex. I just don’t trust government at the federal level to successfully provide healthcare for everyone without creating total chaos and maybe even bankruptcy for the country. Look what happened when the federal government got involved in the housing industry.

    • War Pigs
      October 18, 2017 at 8:13 am #

      So are you going to refuse Medicare when you qualify for it, if you don’t already?

    • Arial Black
      October 18, 2017 at 8:22 am #

      Fox vs. Dan. Was this a struggle, Pat?

      • Pat
        October 18, 2017 at 9:43 am #

        I agree with Dan on most issues.

  3. dusty
    October 18, 2017 at 1:02 am #

    If the pharmaceutical companies did not control congress medical costs would be much less. So if you really want something to happen in government you are better off having friends in Big Pharma. Nothing happens in Washington without the approval of the drug companies who own most politicians lock stock and barrel.

  4. Gigi
    October 18, 2017 at 3:05 am #

    Health insurance is a privilege, not a right. Get government out of healthcare!

    • dusty
      October 18, 2017 at 3:39 am #

      absolutely…those kids with poor parents need to learn hard lessons

      If a kid breaks her arm she needs to tape a stick on it and tough it out for a few months

      • Wilson
        October 18, 2017 at 5:58 am #

        maybe instead of spending thousands for iphones for the whole family, the parents can support their own kids…nah, unfair!

  5. CosbiesLadies
    October 18, 2017 at 3:49 am #

    Remember what Trump said pre – Presidency, ‘it’s not like we’re going to let people die in the streets, nobody’s going to die’. Now, his latest comment to a parent of a Green Beret, He knew what he signed up for, this cannot be taken out of context. What an asshole.

    • Pat
      October 18, 2017 at 4:22 am #

      Trump wants to fix the absolute mess of Obamacare. I know because I have been very directly effected My own healthcare provider has changed at least 6 times in the last few years. Now my insurance is covering fewer and fewer things including one test that I really need to have done and will now have to pay for out of pocket. Progressives need to face the fact that Obamacare is no longer working. This is why Congress made sure that it was excluded from Obamacare participation because they also knew it would provide terrible coverage for themselves and their families.

      Obamacare was set up to fail because Progressives were planning to change over to a single payer system when the next Democratic president was in office. If Congress was forced to suffer through Obamacare then maybe they would be motivated to fix it into something that worked like state run healthcare NOT federally run healthcare.

      • dusty
        October 18, 2017 at 4:45 am #

        Too bad both sides could not work together like Mr McCain suggested. but then if you don’t rape the health care system there will not be enough money in the budget to give the rich folks big tax cuts. and that my friends is the bottom line. and that is why they can’t help Puerto Rico…that money needs to go to the rich folk…not hurricane victims for gods sake.

        • Pat
          October 18, 2017 at 5:05 am #

          Dusty..the Democrats are the rich folks. Don’t be fooled. The Democrats can’t even decide on who the wealthy really are.

          “The Democrats are obstructionists”……”The Democrats call all corporations wealthy when in fact many are struggling to survive”….”Dodd-Frank is bad for the banking industry and needs to be re-looked at by Trump……Herman Cain today on FOX news.

          • Shakes His Head
            October 18, 2017 at 5:15 am #

            When Trump can actually send a legislative proposal to the Hill, I will eat my shoe.

            He knew what he signed up for.

          • Diet Red
            October 18, 2017 at 6:06 am #

            He careful where you step Red

          • Shakes His Head
            October 18, 2017 at 6:28 am #

            6 months of talking about TAX CUTS yet no draft legislation in either chamber of Congress.

            This administration sucks at leading.

          • dusty
            October 19, 2017 at 12:26 am #

            Well I guess if Herman Cain said it it must be credible. Now there is a credible guy for sure.

      • War Pigs
        October 18, 2017 at 8:19 am #

        Pat, folks like you and I fall under the category of ‘underinsured’ thanks to Obamacare. We pay alot for premiums yet get crappy insurance in return, that is very high copays and deductibles. I know of many people who fall under this category, and they often choose not to see their doctor because they would have to foot the whole bill but can’t afford to.
        The underinsured hardly even get mentioned when discussing the failure called Obamacare, but it’s very real and pervasive.

        • Shakes His Head
          October 18, 2017 at 10:43 am #

          I guess you and Pat should have studied harder, gotten better careers, saved more money, and not whine now about paying for healthcare. In the end you want better healthcare for less money. Typical conservative deadbeats.

          • War Pigs
            October 18, 2017 at 12:10 pm #

            SHH, you are missing the point as usual (which makes be believe you are not well educated) because I have a good career and have no money issues at all. The issue is I am paying higher premiums for less health insurance because I have to pay for a bunch of deadbeats who don’t feel like working yet get better health insurance than I do. Do you understand now?
            And the fact you think I’m a conservative proves you are not nearly as smart or well educated as you think you are. Actually, you are quite rude and unintelligent.

          • Joe Blow
            October 18, 2017 at 12:20 pm #

            Typical liberal elitist attitude……you dumb-asses still have no clue why Trump won and I wanna thank you for that. The great silent majority is silent no more,2018 is gonna be great!

          • Shakes His Head
            October 18, 2017 at 12:58 pm #

            Well, might want to shop around for a better plan, cut your salt and sugar intake, and exercise a bit.

            I don’t pay the premium for my health insurance or my children’s, but it is very good insurance and I am happy with it.

          • War Pigs
            October 19, 2017 at 6:12 am #

            So SHH, if you don’t pay the premiums for your health insurance who does? Do you even work? Do you live off of the taxpayer or your wife? Who are you leaching off of?
            Let us know so we can see just how bad of a hypocrite you are.

          • Dustin M
            October 20, 2017 at 11:04 am #

            Matt you really need to start adding to the conversation. You are not.

        • Pat
          October 18, 2017 at 2:34 pm #

          You are totally correct. So many are NOT HAPPY with Obamacare. Romney Care (state run) was MUCH BETTER.

          • dusty
            October 19, 2017 at 12:30 am #

            You do know Pat that Obama care was modeled after Romney care right? The main difference was that one guy was a black democrat and the other a rich white republican.

            By the way you do know that your BFF Trump and Romney hate each others guts?

  6. h
    October 18, 2017 at 4:31 am #

    Trump is still a..h..e.

  7. mi
    October 18, 2017 at 4:53 am #

    Yawn sounds like a Kazoo.

  8. Mi
    October 18, 2017 at 4:54 am #

    Can someone tell Josh he needs to get a new hair brush. My hair looked better after a three day bender.

  9. Dilly Dally
    October 18, 2017 at 12:37 pm #

    I was thinking put a Rockwell in the the New School. The place does look like Fort Knox.

  10. CosbiesLadies
    October 18, 2017 at 12:41 pm #

    I was watching the Gentleman lasts night giving the tour of the new H S. That thing is huge, what will the cost be to heat and maintain it? It’s almost like it’s geared tfor the .Arts especially with the size of the Auditorium.

    • danvalenti
      October 18, 2017 at 1:55 pm #

      Yes, and keep in mind that this is for a school district with falling enrollment in a near-bankrupt city. Either of the present high schools could have been thoroughly brought up to date for a fraction of the $121 million+++ that the new school will cost. Of course, that wouldn’t feed the special interests as well. Greed must be fed, even if it makes ordinary citizens poorer than what they are.

      • dusty
        October 19, 2017 at 12:32 am #

        Almost time for us to start discovering the cost over runs. They are sure to come…right mayor?

  11. The school committee
    October 19, 2017 at 2:37 am #

    THS is 121 million to house 850 students Massimiano Amuso,Bouvier, Yon,Mccandless talk about the future of combined services but not doing it for PHS and Taconic.You will soon learn that PHS needs a complete remodel.We dont build 2 police stations to service 2 sides of town,or 2 parks departments.Both the Catholic church and little leagues have consoldated.Mccandless sees schools like Dunkin Donuts with one every 3 miles.

    • Still wondering
      October 19, 2017 at 10:41 am #

      Pittsfield High School will be closed within 3 years of new Taconic opening. You can take that to the bank.

  12. The school committee
    October 19, 2017 at 2:41 am #

    Trump is the self serving rude egotistic brat bully wealthy spoiled figure head of what America is ,this is who we are.He would be more suited to be in leadership of North Korea

    • dusty
      October 19, 2017 at 5:20 am #

      Pat would have him over for dinner and let him baby sit her grand children.

      i would not leave him alone with my rattle snake.

  13. War Pigs
    October 19, 2017 at 6:23 am #

    Dan, good article. I’m all for universal/single payer health insurance rather than the freebies to the welfare voting base that Obamacare really is. The private sector had their chance with healthcare and the greed of the insurance companies, drug companies, doctors (yes), and hospital administrators ruined the system and we have one of the unhealthiest populations in the free world as a result.
    But it has to be healthcare for everyone, including hard working taxpayers like me, not just some party’s voting base.

    • danvalenti
      October 19, 2017 at 7:43 am #

      Thanks for the comment. It adds to and furthers the discussion.

      • mi
        October 19, 2017 at 11:00 am #

        Drivers today are going way to fast and just plain driving like idiots. How does an elderly person to get into more accidents with thesecrazies driving around. The enforcement has been picking up though. Troopers are more of a presence and are also starting to enforce.

      • Shakes His Head
        October 19, 2017 at 12:16 pm #

        Healthcare for everyone is a legit discussion, but you have one side that wants to make deep cuts in even senior care and the other that is maintaining a status quo.

  14. CosbiesLadies
    October 19, 2017 at 8:24 am #

    Trump doesn’t have a clue on a lot of issues.

  15. Copies
    October 19, 2017 at 11:07 am #

    Seems the Green Beret under the Trump Administration with it’s lack of details, late and lame Eulogy isn’t cutting it. What was the outfit doing out there without Air cover, is that standard procedure Mr. President? Krist, when a car is pulled over in the Ity you have back-up”

  16. Two Cents
    October 19, 2017 at 2:15 pm #

    Councilor Pete White’s solution for addressing the city’s violent crime and drug problem….Let’s all hang out on Facebook..Unbelievable!!!!

  17. Wild in the Streets
    October 19, 2017 at 3:24 pm #

    Pete is the Kimg of Faxebook and one day could be our Mayor. He is very popular.

    • Voytek Gobsigski
      October 19, 2017 at 4:22 pm #

      Pete White might look like a buffoon and sound like a buffoon. But don’t let that fool you. He really is a buffoon.

  18. Len X Abhorant
    October 19, 2017 at 3:26 pm #

    Aside..Go Yankees!

  19. Len X Abhorant
    October 19, 2017 at 3:30 pm #

    Beat L A!