Letter: U.S. health-care system fails 'miserably'

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It seems that an awful lot of people have forgotten that, without the many systems that are publicly funded, no business would stand a chance. Where would they find skilled people capable of thinking critically without good public education? How would goods be transported if our roads and bridges were impassable? No essential service can or should be left to the whims of the market.

In health care, though, the U.S. has not yet reached that conclusion, though all of the rest of the developed world has. We have the most expensive health-care system on earth. But our health outcomes are worse than those in every other developed country, and we don’t even cover everyone.

The root problem in our “system” is for-profit health insurance companies, with their obvious conflict of interest. Their main mission is to take in money – not to see to it that people get the care they need. They pay people to figure out how to deny people access to care, while simultaneously rewarding their CEO’s millions of dollars for being successful at doing so.

Bernie Sanders wasn’t being an extremist in advocating for a single-payer health-care system. Our country is the outlier in this arena, and the price we are paying in human suffering is unforgivable. We need a system that covers everyone, such as Medicare for all. The test of a civilized society is how well it treats its most needy. And we are failing miserably.

Nancy O’Hagan