Urges Support For Healthcare Reform
To the Editor
The letters concerning healthcare in last week's paper show this issue really has our attention. Forty-seven million Americans are without insurance, and 25 million more have seriously inadequate coverage. This number will only get larger. Many people have lost jobs providing insurance, and frequent job changes make staying insured difficult. Buying insurance as a self-employed person is more than challenging. Some of my friends have dropped their insurance, hoping to stay healthy until they are eligible for Medicare.
Americans with access to medical care say they are happy with it, I know I am. I'm happy with my doctor and the clinic I go to. I'm not happy with my insurance company. Fees, deductibles and copayments have risen sharply while things covered have diminished. The congressman who cynically said having a public option for care would be like going to the MVA has obviously not dealt with an insurance company bureaucrat paid to deny your claim. Life is a pre-existing condition. A woman was recently denied cancer treatment because she had failed to put having acne as a teenager on her paperwork. People seem to be frightened by the "public option" but Medicare is just that for millions. It's a very popular program and very efficiently run compared to private insurance. It is one of the things that government does well and could do even better. For example they could negotiate with drug companies, after all Walmart does.
Healthcare is expensive, it's labor intensive one-on-one attention provided by highly trained professionals using expensive drugs and equipment, but we need to find ways to keep costs down. It is a public good. We are paying more per capita than any other country without covering all of our citizens, and we are less healthy. This puts us at a disadvantage with other countries, one reason we have lost so many jobs overseas; we can do better and now is the time. Let your representatives know you support healthcare reform.
My heart goes out to the family of the little girl mentioned in one of last week's letters. I hope the fundraising dance was a big success. But I know that is no way to fund healthcare in America.