Letters to the Editor

Susan Cohen: Complicated health care

The Dec. 6 Point of View “The health care swindle” decried Duke’s excessive charges, convoluted billing procedures and the increasing consolidation of health care providers. It also mentioned the lobbying and campaign contributions by oligarchs in the health care industry. Many comments from readers were subsequently published. But I don’t think that the elephant in the room was made clear.

We are the only developed country that still doesn’t have health care as a right of all citizens. We can’t afford it because we are paying all these other costs; our per capita health care expenditures far outweigh those of any country in the world. Our health status is far from the best when compared with other first-world nations.

We have no health care “system,” but rather a pieced-together industry made up of a multitude of exorbitantly expensive components: Insurance companies, medical centers, pharmaceutical companies, medical device companies, electronic health record companies are a few of them.

Even if they are not “profit-making,” they have myriad “expenses.” They include executives who are paid millions of dollars, lobbyists, campaign contributions, boards of directors to answer to. And we, the public, are paying these over-inflated health care bills that are increasing each year.

Bernie Sanders has made this clear multiple times and is the only presidential candidate who proposes to begin to address this.

Susan Cohen