LETTER: Time for real health care change

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By The Staff

I am flabbergasted by the farce that is labeled the “health care debate” currently playing out in Washington D.C. and in the media.

Each one of us has entered a local store and seen a container near the check-out counter with a label asking for donations to help someone in need of medical treatment. Nowhere else in the industrialized “developed” world would such a request be seen. Why not? Because nowhere but in these United States is health care rationed either by one’s ability to pay or by a bunch of profit-hungry insurance bureaucrats!

Now the opponents of any government run system are using every scare tactic in their arsenal to scuttle the will of the American people so clearly seen at the time of the last election. The people called for an entirely new system of care financed by the government (and therefore by the taxpayer) which would place everyone in the same pool and whose goal would be a healthy nation not shareholder and CEO profit.

We have heard now all the phony stories of the Canadians who are flooding over the border to make use of our so superior medical care! We have heard how a government-run system will drive the poor suffering health care insurance industry out of business by subjecting them to unfair competition!

And now the big buzz word to scare us is “rationing.”

I urge those inclined to believe the adverts and the talk to explore the issue themselves. Talk to someone who knows the systems in Germany, France, the Netherlands, the UK, Spain. There are many of us in the area. You will find that not one of us thinks the system he or she knows is perfect but many of us we will tell you how far superior it is to the one with which we try to cope here in the U.S. Do your own research on the cost of health care in various countries, on rates of infant mortality, maternal death, and life expectancy and compare these rates to figures for the United States. (There are many websites with data published by, for example, the U.S. Census Bureau International Division. You might start with infoplease.com-/ipa/A0004393.)

After the election of ’08, many people came together in Las Vegas to talk about the future. The need for health care reform was every prominent in those discussions. The overwhelming cry was for a “single payer” system of government-run health care. That solution was immediately shot down by the incoming administration, though some courageous lawmakers, including our own Ben Ray Luján, have continued to keep the idea simmering.

The best hope now seems to be a government-run public insurance system like Medicare!

But the heavy guns of the insurance industry and the AMA are trained on that idea too and have been blazing forth their messages of terror. Why? Could it be that their bottom lines are threatened?

We need to be out on the streets and demand a not-for-profit system. July 4th is celebrated because a large group of people had had enough of King George III. They came out on the streets and demanded a better system. Let’s do the same now regarding health care. Isn’t this an American tradition?

Carrol Pearson