Health Care Is a Human Right

RECEIVED Sat., Dec. 15, 2007

Dear Editor,
    I have been wondering for a while now why so many people are against the idea of a single-payer universal health-care system as proposed in House Resolution 676. It seems many are afraid that quality of care will fall and that our government will dictate our health care instead of our doctors. What I do not understand about these ideas and fears is that this is precisely what is happening with privatized health care. Health-insurance companies are dictating our care, and quality is lost when even insured people are denied certain treatments to save the health-insurance company money, and many people do not go to the doctor because they know they cannot afford the out-of-pocket expenses. All the time I hear people talking about what an awful idea this is, and I wonder, how do you know? Well, I lived in Japan, and I worked with people from all parts of the UK, France, Germany, and Canada, among many others. They found it absolutely incomprehensible that we pay for health care the way we do. And guess what? None of them had horror stories about their health-care system. That is the truth. Why are we so afraid of this? It is for the good of everyone, and it can be supported for much less than we pay for private health care. Why are we so against using tax money to fund health care if it will dramatically reduce the cost of that health care while improving access? When I found out that Dennis Kucinich was the only Democratic candidate for president in 2008 who supports single-payer universal health-care coverage for America, I knew he deserved a closer look. Sure enough, his views fall in line with mine on other issues as well. Take a real look at universal health care and HR 676. Talk to people who have experienced it, and don't just take the word of the media and those who fear too much government intervention into our lives. That is the PATRIOT Act not universal health care. Health care is a human right, not a commodity to be bought and sold; therefore, it falls into the scope of the government.
Stephenie Layne
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