Unlike buying a car or computer, you cannot delay seeking health care | Letter

A socialist approach to health care.

I appreciate Ms. Darnell’s contribution to the continuing socialized medicine debate (Kirkland Reporter, Nov. 22, 2017), but she mingles thought-provoking arguments with specious ones. And her last comment betrays a tragic misunderstanding of the nature of health care.

“Would we want our food, housing and clothing socialized too? A single payer system for computers, cell phones and cars?”

No! Buying health care is not like buying a new computer (or car or phone or anything else). I can delay buying that computer (or car or phone) — indefinitely if I wish — but when I need medical help, the word “Now!” is generally the operative principle. Delay could mean death but staying alive could mean bankruptcy. Trust me, no one ever says, “Give me the cheapest doctor.”

We need Medicare for all explicitly because economic forces are NOT benign. Ms. Darnell’s conservative credo, “a free market approach will allow economic forces to drive down costs and increase choice and quality of care,” has no factual basis. Decades of evidence contradict that assertion. When the free market sings, profits call the tune. True, choice might increase, but only for those who can afford it.

In contrast, socialism works for the universal public good. It already works well for significant portions of our economy — our military, educational system, fire and police departments and public housing — and yes, Medicare (65 million enrollees) and Medicaid (73 million enrollees). We enjoy a socialist approach for defense and education because we want to cover ALL our citizens, believing that no American should be left unprotected or uneducated.

Other western countries add “unhealthy” to the list of items that their citizens should not endure. Shouldn’t the United States do the same? Are other countries more interested in the well-being of their citizens than we are?

Responding to worrisome diagnoses of chronic ailments like asthma or diabetes or catastrophic diagnoses like cancer or ALS should never be predicated on the ability to pay. That’s why other countries added health to education and defense. Those countries consciously and deliberately decided to help their citizens.

Shouldn’t the richest nation in the world do likewise?

John Scannell,

Sammamish

More in Letters to the Editor

This week in letters: Kirkland Summerfest, right to bear arms

Thousands of asylum seekers from El Salvador, Guatemala, and Honduras — some… Continue reading

Responses to Windows and Mirrors column | Letters

Pak is one-sided and grim I am writing in response to an… Continue reading

Primary election is Aug. 6 | Letters

Vote ‘yes’ to EvergreenHealth’s Prop. 1 Please vote to approve the revised… Continue reading

Love for all our neighbors | Letter

Throughout the month of June, the pride flag flew proudly above City… Continue reading

Weird city thinking | Letter

The city of Kirkland has a reputation for a labyrinthine permitting and… Continue reading

Great customer service | Letter

I am writing to praise the city of Kirkland for the new… Continue reading

Some clarification | Letter

I am writing in response to the letter the Reporter published from… Continue reading

Delegating isn’t legislating | Letter

Think that Washington voters successfully legalized the cannabis industry? You’d be wrong.… Continue reading

Spending on female empowerment | Letter

In these past few years, I’ve been encouraged with how much focus… Continue reading

#NeverAgainIsNow | Letter

U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) is inflicting countless means of physical… Continue reading

Loss of neighborly community | Letter

When I was young, neighbors gathered together just once a year to… Continue reading

Shut up or put up | Letter

There have been many of President Donald Trump’s cronies that have gone… Continue reading