3 cents v. 30 cents

August 2, 2009 

Shame on Sen. Richard Burr. If he really spent a "considerable amount of time" studying other countries' health care systems, he could have done much better (letter, July 30). To suggest that the cause of Japan's public debt is its health plan ignores all the other expenditures made to bolster its economy after its collapse in the '90s. Canada with a 10th of our population has a shortage of specialists in some areas. That is a manpower problem, not a system problem, per se.

Every other industrialized nation has a national health care plan of some sort. None is perfect, but they all do better in areas such as life expectancy, infant mortality, etc. -- and at half the cost per capita. Our government runs Medicare at a cost of 3 cents per dollar spent. The private market cost is 10 times that at 30 cents per dollar spent.

We have a great opportunity to learn from other countries and cherry pick their best features. Let's stop this "not invented here" mindset that already killed a good chunk of America's manufacturing. If we keep our heads in the sand, the whole shebang will go down the toilet.

Kirk Nelson


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