Bringing truth to health care debate
To the editor:
Thank you for printing Mark Weisbrot's op-ed (July 22) outlining the benefits of the Affordable Care Act and the potentially much greater benefits from Medicare for all.There is so much distortion and outright falsehood being drummed up by the right wing, that it's a relief to see the bright light of truth shine on important issues that affect us so deeply.Weisbrot's Center for Economic and Policy Research (CEPR) is an excellent resource for factual information.
It was particularly helpful to read that Medicare spending per person
increased 400 percent from 1969 to 2009, adjusted for inflation, while
private insurance premiums rose 700 percent.This is a clear
demonstration that the federal government is much more efficient in
controlling costs than are private, for-profit corporations when it
comes to health insurance. And non-profit Medicare has much lower
overhead - in the range of 3 percent to 4 percent, well below the 10
percent to 30 percent for private insurance companies that are busy
lining their own pockets.
Excessive for-profit insurance expense and anti-competitive practices
by the pharmaceutical industry currently cause our per-capita health
care costs to be about double those of other developed nations.And we
have millions of Americans with no insurance, and we have worse health
outcomes, to boot.
We're lagging behind the rest of the world with our expensive,
antiquated, employer-provided private health insurance as a "fringe
benefit." Doing so discourages businesses from new hiring, and
motivates them to automate jobs or ship them overseas to minimize
health insurance costs. It's clear that improved, universal Medicare
for all, as suggested by Mr. Weisbrot, would help us catch up.It would
do wonders for our economy and our well being. We could drastically
cut medical insurance expense, and convert the current dysfunctional
hodgepodge into a much more efficient system in which everyone
participates and everyone wins.
Let's move past deceptive, ideological road blocks and work together to truly meet the needs of the American people.