Letters to the Editor

Letters to the editor: July 7, 2007

Health care in America

In her June 30 column, Angie Vogt explained that we can solve our health care crisis by putting the onus on individual savings to keep our obscenely expensive system afloat through HSA?s — and oh-by-the-way, because there are Cuban refugees trying to escape to America, Mirror readers should avoid trying to learn anything about health care from Cuba.

Nevermind that Cubans have the same average life span and lower infant mortality rate at a fraction of our per capita health care cost. Don't consider that they have twice as many doctors per capita.

Ignore the fact that the vast majority of their agriculture is now grown privately, locally and organically since their 1990s hard lesson of a major permanent oil shortage. This cut their ability to make petrochemical fertilizers and transport food long distances, which we in the U.S. also depend upon completely. No lessons to be learned there.

Do many readers admire Fidel Castro and harbor a secret desire to vote for him in our next presidential election? That's doubtful.

Do we want to see American?s diets and health improve while health care is made more accessible by examining each and every available success story on the planet for potential application here? Of course we do — who would resist that? Maybe only those who stand to lose money through change and those who have been successfully influenced to fear such change?

Groups like the AMA, the "?Big Pharma"? drug companies, the health insurance industry and Big Oil spend billions to protect their financial welfare without regard to the common good.

They are extremely well-financed and politically connected to do that job efficiently on their own.

Do we really need our local newspaper columnist to defend their cause for them? If Ms. Vogt is going to mention the Cuban health care system, I would suggest that she could better serve her readership by outlining some of their good and bad experiences instead of repeating the paranoid Cold War dogma we all heard in the fifth grade too.

The HSA might be worth considering as supplemental health insurance; however, to me it looks like it only treats a symptom and not the disease, protecting the wealthy and powerful players in the industry while failing to address underlying social, economic and policy situations that may be causing the mess in the first place — and that may have already been faced and solved in other countries.

Jack Fogelberg, Auburn

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