Letters to the Editor

Health care politics make me sick

Apparently, the writer of “We don’t need the Affordable Care Act” (July 20 letter by Ronald D. Todd) parrots several half-true and/or misleading political talking points. As one example, he mentions a 3.8 percent tax on home sales in support of the ACA. He fails to mention, however, that this is only assessed when a couple’s profit, if any, on the sale exceeds $500,000! You could probably count on one hand the number of readers in this county who would ever have to pay this tax.

One great thing about living in Myrtle Beach is we get to speak with so many Canadians who visit and love our area. It’s funny that all I have spoken with are unfamiliar with the supposed problems mentioned by this writer. The Canadians I spoke to say they do not have to wait long for critical care, although some say they know of cases where patients needing non-life threatening surgeries (such as knee or hip replacements) would wait several months. This is no worse than the case of a child at my church who was losing weight drastically while local doctors could not find the cause and his mother had to take him to a clinic in Washington, D.C., because they could not get an appointment at MUSC until November! What the Canadians do have is a health care system that costs half as much as ours while serving citizens who live on average over three years longer than in the U.S. In America, prior to the subprime mortgage fiasco, health care issues caused half of the bankruptcies even though most of these people had so-called insurance.

The writer’s solutions to an over-priced American health care system are like hunting elephants with a pea shooter. For instance, panels of retired doctors in two states have determined that tort reform to prevent frivolous medical lawsuits, though helpful, would only save 3 to 5 percent of current health care costs. Similarly, consumers are already free to buy insurance from across state lines. How many health insurance companies do you know that actually reside in South Carolina?

Our current health care system is overpriced and inefficient. However, Americans put a man on the moon, developed a world wide Internet system, and engineered the greatest military complex the world has ever seen. We have the medical ingenuity and human capacity to find ways to deliver world class care for most of our citizens at an affordable price. To support these ideas, however, Americans need to do their own research and quit listening to ill-informed, self-serving politicians.

The writer lives in Conway.