Letter to the editor: Private sector is responsible for health care woes | SummitDaily.com

Letter to the editor: Private sector is responsible for health care woes

Dr. Chris Ebert-Santos
Ebert Family Clinic

It grieves me to see patriotic Americans denigrate successful government programs and glorify corporations. If Morgan Liddick had attended the Ebert Family Clinic sponsored presentation Nov. 12, he could have enlightened us with his views about health care. The presenter was Dr. Vince Markovchick, an emergency room physician who retired after 37 years at Denver Health, a former U.S. Air Force flight surgeon and professor emeritus of emergency medicine for the University of Colorado.

Let’s start with Markovchick’s conclusion: We are not going to be paying $3 trillion more for health care. All this money is being spent now, in a manner that is poorly distributed and wasteful. Six CEOs of major health insurers make salaries of $13 million to $66 million annually. Insurance premiums cost more than mortgages. Over 700,000 bankruptcies every year in the U.S. are caused by medical debt.

Consider health systems Liddick describes as failing and inadequate. If they did not suffer severe budget cuts, as did Veterans Affairs, their services would be as good as the private sector. If other countries like Canada and England invested 18% of their gross domestic product in health care as we do, instead of 6% and 8%, they would not have to wait for their surgery. Instead, they focus on preventive care, which saves money in the long run.

When you buy a car, you look for the best deal. If you need your appendix out, you don’t have that luxury. You go to the nearest hospital. If you are lucky enough to be stricken while in Pagosa Springs, your costs are $16,000. If you are in Fort Collins, a simple, life-saving emergency appendectomy requiring one day in the hospital will cost $93,000.

Our health care system has been broken for decades. We need improved “Medicare for All.”

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