Letters to the Editor

National health care crisis is far from over

Andrew Villenueve is a nice young man but he is neither a health care expert nor provider. He's an ambitious and active member of the Democratic Party whose leadership made a calculated decision in favor of corporate contributions. His opinion should not be the last one your readers hear on health care reform.

The health care bill, or as Donna Smith, organizer for Nurse's United and co-chair for the Progressive Democrats of America calls it, the "health insurers recovery act," not only fails to address the most pressing problems of our health care system, it exacerbates them.

Private health insurers make money by charging as much as possible for their premiums and providing as little health care as possible, both of which seriously impair our health care system. There is nothing in this bill to prevent them from continuing business as usual; no caps on premiums, no caps on co-pays, no bargaining power and no regulation. Seventy-five percent of all those bankrupted by a medical emergency had health insurance.

The much touted measure to end "pre-existing conditions" is a joke. The fine for failing to provide coverage is $100 a day, far less than it would cost insurers to provide for their client's care. It doesn't take much imagination to figure which choice corporations, who routinely let tens of thousands of people die each year to beef up their bottom lines, will make.

Insurers are given 50 million new customers, who are compelled by law to buy their defective products, most at taxpayers’ expense. Their increased profits will make it even easier for them to kill future attempts to cut into their profits. Villeneuve claims the debate has "gone on long enough." A debate in which the majority of Americans are shut out (the 75-90 percent who favored some form of single payer insurance and in which health care providers, public health experts and health reform advocates had no voice), isn't a real debate. The last thing Americans should believe is that the health care crisis is over and the last thing we should do is move on.

Carol Davidek-Waller, Kirkland

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