Letters to the Editor

Hidden taxes pay for care

Switzerland, the Netherlands and Germany have affordable universal health care with private insurance systems plus government-funded programs like Medicare and Veterans Affairs. Their national health care outcomes are better than the U.S., yet cost much less per capita. U.S. high health care costs are a hidden tax.

It is hidden taxation when we:

•Have a lack of prenatal and postnatal care, uninsured children, avoidable premature deaths, cost transfers to emergency rooms, medical bankruptcies and health care denials based on “pre-existing conditions” or unemployment.

•Promote unfair business practices where small businesses can’t find affordable health care.

•Don’t reform medical malpractice lawsuits to ensure fairness for patients and doctors and reduce “defensive medicine” costs.

•Fail to base health care funding on outcome-based measures with regional fairness and disclosure of hospital and medical performance.

•Don’t mandate universal standardized basic health care insurance just like automobile insurance, with subsidies and tax deductions to ensure equitable costs, so uninsured patients don’t drive up costs for insured patients.

•Transfer costs to individual states rather than national insurance pools under federal oversight.

•Fail to use good business practices such as competitive bulk pricing for purchases, similar to the VA system.

Margaret Mortz

Spokane Valley



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