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Take profiteering out of health care equation

The provision of health care in this country has reached a medical and moral crisis. The Affordable Care Act is fiscally unsustainable, leaves millions still uninsured and places an undue burden on business owners. The original intent of this legislation seemed admirable at its inception, but the influence of pharmaceutical and health insurance companies made sure that it was a boon for them at the expense of everyone else.

Republicans are right about wanting to dismantle funding for the ACA, but they are wrong in not addressing the rest of the problem – providing basic health care coverage for every American from cradle to grave while saving the taxpayers money and not tying employment to health insurance. Can’t be done? Ever heard of Medicare?

H.R. 676, Medicare for All, would provide a savings of $592 billion on administrative and pharmaceutical costs in 2014, enough to cover all the uninsured and eliminate co-pays and deductibles for everyone else without raising health spending, according to a fiscal study by Gerald Friedman of the University of Massachusetts, Amherst. The bill would also make the financing of health care more progressive, so that 95 percent of families would pay less for care.

Until we get lobbying and profiteering out of the health care equation, nothing will stop the inevitable slide of our system into a further morass of the uninsured, the untreated and the dying of our citizens. Health care is a right of every citizen, not a profit center for big pharmaceuticals and health insurers.

Do your own independent research and inform Washington that you will settle for nothing less than Medicare for All.

Janice Howard, R.N.M.S.

LeRoy