Letters to the Editor

Fear of health care reform not selfish

I attended the Coupeville forum, which addressed health care reform legislation. As the meeting closed, one of the panelists, Marshall Goldberg, an activist for single payer health care, offered remarks critical of Americans who opposed the reform effort, citing their “selfishness.” Since I’m one of these Americans, I would like the chance to defend myself from this charge:

In 1992, I sent money to help offset the medical expenses of truck driver Reginald Denny, a victim of violent assault during the L.A. riots. The same year, I donated money to assist as acquaintance paralyzed from a swimming accident. I was not the only one to do so. These are but two examples of many that I could cite. Sometimes I knew the person in question; more often, they were complete strangers to me.

Many Americans, every year, donate collectively millions to meet medical needs, not only of their fellow countrymen, but those overseas. They support charities such as Save the Children and Shriners Hospital for Children. Whether by group effort, or individual undertaking, our fellow citizens are actively engaged in showing compassion to others. The Americans I know are not selfish!

We need wise people in government to propose good legislation. There is a big difference between people in need of life-saving care and special interests who desire to tap the public purse to fund their social agenda. It is possible that D.C.-style bureaucrats will one day mandate procedures such as gender change operations, and frivolous (to me anyway) cosmetic surgery, under a mental health clause, in years to come? If so, the American taxpayers will be held financially responsible, whether they want to be or not.

I am an individual of ordinary financial means, and always have been. I greatly fear the prospect of an all-powerful federal government endlessly debiting my checking account to pay for everything under the sun under the guise of “health care.” Something tells me that I’m not the only one who fears this project.

Melanie Hammons

Oak Harbor

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