Letters to the Editor

Health care shouldn’t be a luxury

The recent mass shooting of young kids at the Batman movie highlights what’s wrong with U.S. health care. Nearly half of these youths did not have health care and could not afford to have a policy.

I remember seeing a “60 Minutes” program several years ago showing middle class workers dying from treatable cancers. These folks paid into their medical policies until they got too sick and missed a payment and were dropped like a lead balloon. This should not happen in America, period. Joe Irvin’s health letter (Aug. 4, “Our health care system already works”) compares coverage in Canada to the U.S., depicting greater wait periods for some surgeries. What he doesn’t take into effect is that Canadian health care covers the population and includes transplants.

Prisoners on death row get great health care at taxpayers’ expense while many Americans do not. I have noticed that former union workers that have great health packages and pensions are somewhat blind to the rest of the working Americans’ plight. Never mind that the cost of health care continues to spiral. A typical family would pay in the area of $15,000 per year for coverage. Health costs continue to escalate before the new plan goes into effect by some 15 percent per year. Then insurance companies deny you insurance based on a predisclosed illness. This selective coverage has made many insurance company executives millions of dollars.

Many health care providers have milked the system. There is a huge shortage of regular doctors in the U.S. because specialists can make so much more. This new plan has incentives to address he need for primary care doctors to cover more impoverished areas. In the past the when the U.S. had more doctors, we practiced preventive health care, not today’s reactive coverage.

The folks that have robust insurance coverage say, “Let the poor go to the emergency room.” This is the most expensive solution and it is bankrupting the country adding to the national debt. These are the very same folks crying about the national debt The wealthiest 2 percent have most of the money, so how does taxing the rest of us more with far less money equate to lowering the national debt? In the past we pulled together as a nation, maybe because we suffered through the Great Depression and WWII together.

In President Eisenhower’s day the wealthiest folks paid a whopping 91 percent in taxes on monies accrued over $151,000 or so. This was a tremendous amount of money when the dollar had a lot more worth. When President Ronald Reagan was an actor he would only make two movies per year, so he would not fall into that higher tax bracket. When Reagan’s family suffered through the Depression it was FDR’s relief plan that fed his family. When U.S. Rep. Paul Ryan’s father died at the young age of 55 it was Social Security benefits that saved his family and paid his way through Miami Dade College. People forget that 30 percent of Social Security goes to help needy families.

The new health plan is a step in the right direction and can be modified. With some 1,700 insurance companies in this country just getting some standard insurance forms standardized would be a huge improvement. We should not have to subsidize health coverage with bake sales.

The writer lives in Little River

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