December 5, 2018

Forget Caravans, it’s our health care that might kill you

Dear Editor,

Magicians and con men count on distraction to survive.

One current national example: our president and his political friends keep you focused on migrants and refugees, so you won’t notice things like the fact that the U.S. healthcare “system” is a far greater danger to your long-term well being than any caravan from Central America.

Our health care is truly a disaster that should outrage you. Medical bills cause far more bankruptcies than losing your job. Even if you have health insurance through your job, you’re probably spending several thousand dollars a year for a typical family of four. The amount that your employer insists you contribute toward the health insurance premiums keeps going up, as do the premiums themselves. As do the co-pays. As do the number of services and treatments that the insurance declines to cover.

Every year Americans suffer the health consequences—sometimes death—from not being able to afford medical care. It’s a problem the rest of the developed world doesn’t have because their governments make sure everyone can get health care.

If you want to know why we don’t have that here in the planet’s richest nation, you probably don’t need to look any further than the fact that Open Secrets, the database maintained by the Center for Responsive Politics, reports that the businesses that make money off our health care misery spent over $4 million on health care lobbying in 2018 (through late October).

Why doesn’t that outrage you?

Lee Russ, Bennington

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