Commentary: We need health care for all in America

Patricia Frey’s piece (“The big scary ‘S’ word,” DSN 7/19) was very much on the right track with her discussion of the “s” word (i.e. socialism) and Medicare for All. I would just like to add some important clarifications and some specific focus.

Frey tried to be fair in defining and judging socialism in the context of the real problem — which is how to pay for health care — but anti-socialist ideology is against any government involvement. In fact, every country in the world has a government/socialist sector as well as a private/capitalist sector. It has been that way in most countries for centuries or more.

The socialist component of the economy of the USA is about 35% of its GDP. U.S. socialism has been around for decades and is no more harmful to society than all the corporate crime and corporate bad behavior from the 65% part which is capitalist. Why all the fear of socialism? People should look at the evils of capitalism. A Wikipedia essay entitled “Criticism of capitalism” will blow you away and leave anti-socialists far behind in the dust.

The real problem with health care in the USA is that about half of all patients can’t pay their bills because the patients are approximately broke because they have low-paying jobs and high rents and other costs.

The health care bills are often very large and a lot of people who do have insurance have poor benefits. Reports say one out of three people have no or inadequate health insurance. International studies place the quality of USA healthcare at eleventh from the top. Medical bills can create serious economic problems for the victims. In some rural areas hospitals are closing because collections are not keeping up with the costs of staying open.

Even with the dominant capitalist mindset in this country I would think that the most important goal would be to have as many people as possible be as healthy as possible so they can be more able to work and work more days in the year so they can pay their bills, pay their rents, pay their mortgages, buy stuff in stores and keep happy the rich capitalists by keeping up their high revenue streams.

Yes, the question of how to pay the health care bill needs an answer. We have successfully had Medicare, Medicaid, Social Security for decades. Automobile liabilty insurance has been mandatory for many decades. Make a new system or modify an existing system. All the answers we need are there in front of us. People just need the political willpower.

The most useless thing is the recent “repeal and replace” fiasco. In a recent poll, Obamacare had a 51% approval rate which is higher than the 42% approval for Trump, who gave us “repeal and replace” but we never even got the “replace” that was promised. We have less now than before he got elected.

Arthur E. Sowers is a resident of Harbeson.

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