Letter: Medicare for all is the health care solution

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John Balentine claims that “Health care is not a right.” As things stand, this is true. Of course health care should be a right, and not be treated as a commodity, like pork bellies or crude oil. Who gets what, in health care, should not be decided by the laws of supply and demand. We are, whatever our conservative friends may say, a society, and that means the health and well-being of every citizen should matter to all of us.

This is understood in countries where health care is seen as a human right. If Balentine ever visits any of these countries, he could tell them what they have been missing: good, free-market capitalist things like four- and five-figure deductibles, annual limits, lifetime limits, pre-existing conditions, etc. He’ll need to learn how to say “no, I’m not joking” in several languages.

Sen. Bernie Sanders expresses it best. Today, defend a flawed Affordble Care Act, for the good things it does. Tomorrow, Medicare for all.

It’s an idea that can be brought to Trump’s new-found constituency: unemployed West Virginian coal miners, rust-belt union Democrats, middle-class and working-class Americans living paycheck to paycheck. They were taken for granted by a complacent Democratic Party. Sooner or later they will be royally stiffed by Trump. Democrats have a duty to put things right with these people, and backing Medicare for all would be the perfect start.

Robert Gillies