Letters to the Editor

Let’s get real in our discussions about healthcare

Dear Editor,

Many folks call ObamaCare a government takeover without explaining why they use that description. Can someone please explain how a system based on private insurance companies and private healthcare providers can be a government takeover? I agree that ObamaCare changes some rules about how healthcare will be conducted, and debate about those changes is important. But the simple label of “government takeover” stifles all conversation.

Could we discuss whether the changed rules are worth all the confusion? Any discussion needs to include the following facts. In the U.S. one-sixth of our economy is spent on healthcare. Other countries (some with private systems) provide healthcare for one-tenth or less of their economies. The difference between one-sixth and one-tenth is about $610 billion a year ($2,000 per person) that we could use for other things like manufacturing and high tech. In those other countries, healthcare is good: infant mortality is lower than in the U.S., lifespan is higher, no one goes broke because of healthcare expenses, and the U.S. has stories of folks waiting for healthcare at least as long as in the stories we are told about other countries.

Some parts of the U.S. are delivering good healthcare for costs similar to those in the other countries — such as the Mayo Clinic and western Colorado. ObamaCare is expensive in the short term, but will start saving money within 10 years. Under the ObamaCare rules, healthcare to seniors will be better and cost less.

Those other countries are getting more for the money they spend on healthcare. Is that not a good American value, too? Are we willing to say they can achieve that while America cannot? They are organized such that sick folks get treated and get back to work — something any business person would love (that is, any business person not part of this $610 billion a year fleecing of America!).

Disagree with my opinions? Disagree with what I am calling fact? Great! Let’s talk! Let’s get rid of the simple, inflammatory labels and discuss healthcare realistically.

Mary C. Hill
Boulder
mchill@hillsmith.com