Medicare-for-all makes sense | Letter

Jeff Jared’s response (Kirkland Reporter, Oct. 13) to Mr. Ledbetter’s “Medicare for all” letter (Kirkland Reporter, Oct. 6) provides lots of heat and no light. And that’s a shame because health care is truly one of the foremost issues affecting us all.

Mr. Jared’s letter commences with ad hominem attacks, characterizing Mr. Ledbetter’s pro-Medicare argument as “convulsive and childish.” As I said — all heat, no light. Accusations like Mr. Jared’s are, well…convulsive and childish. He then proceeds to call Medicare-for-all advocates “illiterate,” “selfish,” and ‘knee-jerk liberals.” Why the vitriol?

Unfortunately, Mr. Jared embroiders his name-calling with loads of misinformation, bad examples and scare tactics. Let me offer some cogent examples:

Mr. Jared declares that Medicare-for-all advocates want “free” medical coverage. Wrong. Then he contradicts that “free” position saying these folks want “others” to pay for it. Wrong again. Medicare isn’t free — and we ALL pay for it with our taxes, not just those nameless “others.” No one desiring Medicare-for-all is looking to ride the gravy train.

Mr. Jared’s proof that Medicare-for-all doesn’t work is to indict Veterans Affairs. That’s curious. Why not indict Medicare? Because Medicare works, that’s why. Mr. Jared then disingenuously generalizes the problems in the Phoenix VA to tar the entire VA — an organization currently treating my younger brother’s cancer in Tampa, Florida. My brother would be happy to testify on behalf of the VA.

Like other anti-Medicare-for-all letters, Mr. Jared couldn’t resist the old “socialism kills” gambit or the “Canadians hate their health care system” accusation. Neither assertion is true. When ranking health care among all the wealthiest nations, the United States is dead last. (Commonwealth Fund, 2014) All those other “wealthy countries” beating out us have socialized medicine. All of them. Places like the United Kingdom, France, Germany…and yes, Canada.

After the name-calling, misinformation and scare tactics, Mr. Jared curiously exhorts his readers to “think deeper,” but I advise those same readers to “think kinder.” We all will experience medical problems — usually when we least expect it.

Mr. Jared’s final chestnut is to argue for the “free market,” but the free market doesn’t care about my health or your health. The free market’s bottom line is profit. My bottom line is my health. When my bottom line and the free market’s bottom line conflict, only one of us will survive. And it won’t be me.

Let me unselfishly assert: Medicare-for-all makes sense.

John Scannell,

Sammamish

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