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Letter to the Editor: Quality, affordable health care

Friday, July 6, 2012

I read with interest the June 29 article in the Southeast Missourian concerning the comments of local politicians who said the recent Supreme Court decision concerning the Affordable Health Care Act did not address the issue of rising health care costs. Of course this is correct. However, rising health care costs are a political rather than a legal issue.

I would offer the following observations.

The countries of Western Europe and Canada provide quality health care to all their citizens. Our health care system which is 33 percent more expensive leaves approximately 40 million people uninsured. We cannot let the hubris of American exceptionalism prevent us from learning from others.

Health insurance companies make money by collecting premiums, not by paying claims.

Those of us who have health insurance through our employers have to take the offered program and do not get to shop for the most advantageous plan.

When confronted with a serious injury or a life threatening disease such as cancer, recovery is the central concern. More often than not, cost of care is an afterthought.

Health care and procedures are presently rationed by corporate bureaucrats trying to maximize profits for their company.

Quality health care is required by all of us, and it needs to be provided at a reasonable price. Therefore, it is a necessity similar to electricity in that it is more like a public utility than a commodity to be purchased at a department store.

Going forward, I hope our elected officials remember these points.

JOHN PIEPHO, Cape Girardeau