Letters to the Editor

Make health care available to all

Many of us are not fully aware that all industrialized countries except the United States guarantee necessary health care to all their citizens, and usually to visitors as well.

Their health systems vary — from socialized where government hires the providers (as in our Veterans Administration) to single-payer where government pays for the services of independent providers (as in our Medicare and children’s SCHIP).

How can other nations cover everyone at half or less of our per capita cost, and still have better outcomes than we do on infant mortality and other indicators? It is because they all prohibit making a profit on basic necessary health care. It is illegal in other countries to profit from people’s illnesses and injuries.

We believe that our country should learn from the others. Forty-four years ago, President Lyndon Johnson signed Medicare into law, available to all age 65 and older. Later, a simple modifying bill added people disabled of any age.

Now it will be a simple modification, requiring only a majority vote in Congress, to allow people of any age to join Medicare. Eventually we need to have Medicare for all — everybody in, from birth,

nobody out. Then the monstrous immorality of profiteering from the horrors of our ills will be over and we’ll be healthier and happier.

To support universal single-payer health care coverage bills, get active NOW! In the U.S. House of Representatives, it’s the Conyers bill, HR 676 (already has 86 co-sponsors); in the Senate, the Sanders bill, S-703.

Call 1-800-828-0498 and ask for any Congress member’s office. The votes are coming very soon!

Byron and Joyce Harrell
Friday Harbor

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