Letter: Health care is a public good we should all pay for

Mar 29, 2017

I appreciate Leslie Gregg's response (“Let’s fix unfair, high-cost health law before it fails,” March 22) to those who took issue with her original letter to the editor regarding replacement of the ACA.

She asked good questions regarding issues consumers currently have regarding “fixing” the ACA. I am sure others will take this opportunity to respond, as they should, and I would like to help address some of her questions.

Fairness was a frequent topic. First, addressing coverage of those who don't use the services others require: Is it fair for everyone to pay for public education when some do not or cannot have children?

Currently, those who choose not to pay for health care coverage and end up in need of health care rely on the ethics of the medical community. In turn, the hospitals cover costs when the uninsured are unable to pay their bills, which are then passed on to the paying patients, essentially increasing their costs without providing additional services or improvements.

If everyone pays to cover health care, we have larger purchasing power in a free market. This will make it possible to reduce costs, as well as the burden of subsidizing hospitals to cover all patients regardless of their ability to pay.

If we don't care for our society, how does that affect us in other ways? For example, untreated mental illness increases homelessness and crime, which affects police and correctional facility costs on the general public. Is it fair to pay for these services if you've never needed or wanted them?

Allowing insurers to cross state lines is a good idea, and to make this happen the insurance companies must spend money and time to build relationships with doctors and hospitals they have never worked with before. It will not be a quick fix and costs may go up for a while before they go down.

Health care is complicated. The suggested solutions need to be researched and explained to both Congress and the general public by people who understand the economics and affects of it all.

Hiding a plan and then not allowing time for informed input to try and make the plan work for the majority is deceptive and unworthy of public acceptance.


Jeanette Kuo
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