Letter to the Editor – Healthcare for everyone is a benefit to society  

Dear Editor:

I would like to see everyone have good quality health care. I want to see my friends, family, and neighbors all have the opportunity to thrive and participate fully in our society. I want people and families with addiction problems to have access to treatment rather than punishment.

Covering everyone will be costly, and I believe an overall benefit to our society. It is worth the money to improve the personal well-being, financial stability, longevity, and increased economic productivity of each and every one of us. We already pay for the uninsured, not by giving health care, but in losses–by subsidizing costly and inefficient random care in emergency rooms, shouldering the economic losses of an unhealthy population, and losing rural hospitals that rely heavily on Medicaid.

I would like to see our legislators improve Obamacare (the ACA). The effort to repeal is proving fruitless, and in 7 years opponents of the ACA have not been able to come up with a tolerable replacement.

Congress should start addressing the problems with the ACA, and take advantage of opportunities to save money. Congress could reduce health insurance bureaucracy and costs by standardizing systems and metrics and requiring providers to simplify plans and publicly display prices.

Committing to the ACA would give insurers certainty that would encourage them to work on cost-containment efforts. Congress could reverse Marco Rubio’s 2015 spending provision that prevented the Administration from protecting insurance companies which participated in the exchanges from financial losses. Congress should look at how to reduce spending on medical care that is not associated with improved health outcomes and how to pay for outcomes rather than services. Congress could reform our medical malpractice system.

Lastly, I would like everyone participating in the healthcare discussion to tell the truth. If your plan saves money by kicking people off Medicaid, just say so. If your plan to offer everyone healthcare is expensive, don’t say it will save money over time. If you are a politician, hold a town hall meeting and listen to your constituents. We have different values, and we should defend them honestly in public discussion.


Tenley Shewmake


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