Letter to the Editor

What health insurance would you be proud of?

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

To the Editor:

What kind of health insurance system would you be proud of as an American?

Would you be proud of a system that leaves millions of Americans without any health insurance, that allows Americans to lose their ability to get health insurance when they lose their job, that is increasing in cost at a rate that is far above inflation?

If that is the plan you want then do nothing, because it is the plan you have now.

I support health insurance reform that will provide affordable health insurance to all Americans; insurance that they can still have access to if they lose their job. I support health insurance reform that will lower the increase in health care costs.

Opponents complain about a government take over of health insurance, but the plans in congress call for only a government option. Moreover, it is simply wrong to think that government plans always fail and that the free market always works best.

Our current financial problems were caused by the unrestrained free market -- not the government.

The government already has a medical plan for seniors, Medicare. This plan is not perfect, but most seniors rate it highly. Here is a government run plan that works. Do opponents of the government option think we should do away with Medicare? Government does have a legitimate and necessary role in health insurance. We have tried the free market for many years and it has produced our present system that leaves millions uncovered and allows costs to spiral up above the rate of inflation. Both the government and free enterprise need to be involved in health insurance.

Finally, even in hard times we in America can afford a better health insurance system. Indeed we cannot afford not to have a better one. We lose our ability to compete with other countries because we are spending more than they are for health care and not getting any better health care. I agree with fiscal conservatives that health insurance reform should not increase the deficit.

Adequate funding can be found by some cost savings, taxing insurance companies that offer extravagant plans and taxing those in the top tax brackets slightly more. Those making over $250,000 have discretionary income.

Surely most Americans in this tax bracket would be glad for some of that money to go back into the economy in the health care sector in a way that shows Christian charity and helps those less well off to maintain their health and that of their families.

Carl Huffman