2009-08-20 / Letters

Incredulous Over Healthcare Reform Letter To The Editor

To The Editor:

I read with absolute incredulity Mr. Joyce's letter to the editor dated August 13. I don't believe that I have ever read a more misinformed, hysterical or clueless aggregate of nonsense in my life.

The letter begins witha simple statement of "fact.'' The U.S. has the finest healthcare system in the world. Says who? Mr. Joyce? And by what measure? I checked a few statistics with the World Health Organization and learned the following: The overall ranking of the U.S. worldwide is #37. We are #24 in overall life expectancy. We spend 15.2 percent of our GNP on healthcare, the second highest level in the world. Our infant mortality rate is #29, tied with Poland. So please, the finest in the world, interesting if true.

Moving through the tired bromides of tort reform and "socialized medicine,'' the latter of which no one is suggesting, Mr. Joyce really picks up steam in paragraph 4 where he claims "a government bureaucrat will deny medical treatment to the elderly or anyone with a pre-existing condition that (sic) does not meet politically approved criteria." Mr. Joyce, are you sure you are not confusing this with the existing U.S. healthcare system where pre-existing conditions and rationing are part of every insurance company's operating procedures? Finally not to leave any stone unturned, we are treated to a blanket statement about healthcare in Canada and England. Given the displayed ignorance about U.S. healthcare, I really don't think anyone should take too seriously any claim about Canada or the UK.

What is so troubling about this debate is the cynicism of people who propagate the nonsense that Mr. Joyce espouses. These assertions are lies and the people who disseminate them are either ignorant dupes or cynical liars. An uninformed electorate is the most dangerous beast in the forest, and in the U.S. today we apparently have a large and growing number of them.
Charles Gobin
Berryville, Va.
Former county resident

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