Letter: U.S. health-care system is shameful

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Thank you, Edgar Allen Beem, for writing sensibly about the U.S. health-care system. Contrary to those who claim that we have the best health care in the world, in fact we are near the bottom of the heap in nearly every measure, compared to the rest of the countries in the modern industrialized world. (Anyone who doubts this should read a book by T.R. Reid called “The Healing of America.”) We spend more per capita than any other country and have poorer health outcomes. And worst of all, ours is the least fair of them all, leaving many millions of our citizens with no access to care. We should be ashamed.

No other country allows profit-making insurance companies instead of medical professionals to decide what will be paid for and what treatment we can have. No other country allows the astounding waste of time, money and energy that our “system” requires due to having to cope with so many different insurance policies, employer programs, and individual choices. Those living in countries with a universal national system view ours not with admiration, but with fear of its savage nature.

We need a national health system that assures access for everyone on exactly the same terms. Medicare for all would be a great step in the right direction.

Nancy O’Hagan