Monday, October 12, 2009

Health Care Costs

The following is a letter of mine that was in the Albany Times Union today. The letter is on healthcare costs and advocates for a single payer solution. The only piece that the editors took out of my letter was a sentence where I supported my statement that the insurance executives get "over-the-top salaries and bonuses" by using the example of Stephen Hemsley, CEO of United Healthcare who makes $102,742.00 per hour

Health plan may benefit wealthy
First published: Monday, October 12, 2009

In "Health costs hit home" (Oct. 3), the Times Union reports that
health care costs will rise steeply again this year. This is at the
same moment when health care reform bills are making their way through Congress without serious consideration being given to single-payer health care or even the nebulous public option.

With the way things are headed, it looks like people who can barely
afford the co-pay for a visit to their doctor will be mandated to buy
a defective and exorbitant health insurance policy or else face a
fine. This is a huge giveaway to the health insurance industry and,
like the recent corporate bailouts, is essentially another transfer of
wealth from working people and the poor to the rich.

A recent study comparing the U.S. health care system to that of five
other industrial countries, reported by the New York Daily News,
concludes that ours is twice as costly per capita as any of the others
and has worse outcomes, to boot. The other five countries all have
some form of single-payer system.

The high cost of health care in the U.S. is the direct result of
greedy insurance companies, with their high overhead and over-the-top salaries and bonuses for their executives.

Health care costs more in this country than any place else on the
planet because we put the profits of the corporations above the needs of the people. The only way to remove the insurance companies -- the Number One enemy of meaningful health care reform in this country -- from the equation is to adopt a single payer system.

Joe Lombardo

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