To the editor:
The USA is the only developed country in the world that uses health care as a privilege for full-time workers. if you lose your job or have part-time jobs, you are usually out of luck.
Medical bankruptcies are unheard of in other developed countries. In the USA, they are common.
In addition, many of us with health insurance have huge deductibles, large co-pays, and excluded previous heath problems or can't get insurance at all because of "pre-existing conditions." The USA spends twice what other developed countries spend, and is rated 37th in the world for health care outcomes, just behind Costa Rica and ahead of Slovenia.
Where is all the money going? To obscene insurance companies, CEO salaries and profits for shareholders. Why should non-medical personnel decide/influence health care, doctor's decisions, tests, and producers? Thirty-three other developed countries give bonuses to doctors for improving their patient's health. Here, many people wait until they are in an emergency to get care, which drives up costs even more.
Health care cost is putting small businesses out of operation and hurting the economy. We need to decide that health care, like police and fire protection, is part of everyone's basic right as a citizen and a human being. We need to join the rest of the developed counties in caring for everyone.
Many states are looking at single-payer, universal coverage, and Vermont recently passed a single-payer health care plan. When states rally around an issue, it is only a matter of time before it becomes fact. In our state, the Minnesota Health Plan has been introduced in the Legislature. It will bypass the insurance companies, be available to all citizens based on their ability to pay, and provide health care access for all Minnesotans.
To have your questions answered and to learn more, come to the Health Care Forum at 2 p.m. Sunday, July 24, at Twin Circles, 760 Morgan Street, Tracy.