AP NEWS

We should work as a team to fix health care

January 16, 2018

Some consider “the greater good” a lefty thing, but I consider it common sense. How are we to compete in global economies if our people suffer poor health?

According to Physicians for a National Health Plan and Health Care for All Oregon, we rank last among 19 developed nations in preventing death from treatable illnesses. How can we plan a future with iffy, expensive health care? Millions of Americans don’t see medical professionals regularly to get the screenings and regular evaluations to detect changes in their bodies as in the early stages of disease. It’s too expensive.

In America, we shy away from anything sounding, smelling or feeling like socialism. But, is teamwork socialism? How about leaving no one behind? How about saving money? Those things are as American as Old Glory at a picnic. Imagine getting a card at birth that gives you access to any medical facility, any medical professional for as long as you live? And paying less for it than you do now for private insurance that restricts where you can go and who you can see. And no deductible.

Some Americans, like me, believe that access to health care is a right. We can have it with private doctors and hospitals, freedom to choose a facility, no deductible and pay less than we do now. How? Single-payer health care. We all go in together, pay a tax rather than private insurance premiums. Everyone. And we pay less for care and medications. Check out www.pnhp.org and www.hcao.org. Not convinced? Go sit in an emergency room and see people with symptoms of undetected, untreated illnesses that could have been handled earlier with less anxiety, danger and expense.

We pay about twice what any other developed nation does and we die sooner from preventable illness. We can do better.

Nita Nettleton

Roseburg