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U.S. healthcare system broken, needs fixing

Published: Friday, Aug. 23, 2013 10:50 a.m. CDT

Dear Editor,“Congressional critics must abandon their futile efforts to repeal Obamacare and focus on improving it.
“Their core premise that greater government involvement in healthcare provision spells disaster lacks support in the wealth of evidence from around the world.
“The truth appears closer to the reverse, because of pervasive market failures in private healthcare markets.
— (Robert Frank, Graduate School of Management, Cornell University)

US healthcare costs (roughly $8,000 per person) are much higher, even twice as high, as costs in other developed nations. Most other countries have tried to avoid rather than imitate the core principles of US healthcare.

Among other objections, they realize that free-market competition alone cannot adequately regulate costs.

ALL the other wealthy nations (over 30) have greater government involvement in healthcare.

All citizens are covered, and no one’s coverage is dropped because of a previous illness or injury, no matter how severe.

Critics would argue that our healthcare is far superior and therefore worth the cost. In 2000, the World Health Organization (WHO) rated healthcare systems worldwide.

Some of the subsets that went into that rating were affordability, availability, cure rates, longevity of the population, and money spent on healthcare.

Despite rating first in money spent, our overall rating was 32nd!

We have many excellent doctors, nurses, and other healthcare providers. It’s not these dedicated compassionate caregivers who are at fault. It’s the system that’s broken.

All recent presidents, Republican and Democrat alike, have tried unsuccessfully to reform healthcare.

They’ve failed because so many people are gorging themselves on the great pile of cash Americans pay in order to stay alive and pain free.

Those who benefit so grandly have used their deep pockets to convince congress and the American public that any change would be disastrous.

Despite Medicare’s success, some Americans still believe that a government program would result in so-called “death panels” for the elderly!

Would you rather give your last penny to “big medicine,” pharmaceutical companies, insurance companies, and lawyers, than lose one iota of your independence?

Our hands-off attitude has given us the highest prices in the world, doctors and hospitals who are paid by the procedure and therefore recommend unnecessary tests and surgeries,“nonprofit” hospitals that are actually profitable, administrators that are paid more than our finest doctors, and pharmaceuticals that cost more than anywhere else in the world.

There’s a lot of truth in the old adage, “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.”

But if it is broken, stop squabbling like kids on the playground, put your heads together, and do something about it!

Millions of lives are at stake.

Delmar Lohr

Forreston

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