NYT readers opine on health-care cure

In response to an editorial last week in The New York Times that dicussed “America’s Lagging Health Care System,” readers on Monday opined in the Times “Letters to the Editor” section that our health-care system is, indeed, in a dire state.

The editorial to which readers responded addressed the 2007 Commonwealth Fund International Health Policy Survey, which I discussed in my “U.S. spends more cash, gets less care than other countries” post on Nov. 3.

It’s inexcusable that entrepreneurs, gifted with unlimited intellectual and material resources, are inhibited in providing the medical attention that people deserve and need,” one reader wrote. She gave many suggestions for fixing the system, including providing universal health care, requiring health-care education and research to be not-for-profit and removing the cap on the Social Security tax.

Another reader suggested an independent federal authority to govern health care, rather than fragmented local authorities.

In response to a related editorial that looked at the Dutch and Swiss health-care systems, Times readers were also vociferous.

“It is refreshing to see American policy makers looking outside our borders for a better way to finance health care,” one reader wrote. “[But] health reformers take note: the battle for health reform will be won or lost by appealing to our hearts, not our heads.”

This same reader concluded his letter with a poignant question that perhaps all of us should be asking ourselves when we think about health-care reform:

Do we really want to be the only developed nation that selfishly refuses to care for all its citizens?

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