Letters to the Editor

Who’s selfish about health care?

In her Oct. 3 letter to the editor, Melanie Hammons assails my assertion that those critical of health care reform are “selfish.” That was only one of many comments that I made at the League of Women Voters’ forum in Coupeville, and it certainly applies to a large number of those who are opposed to meaningful health care reform.

If people say they have good health insurance and they don’t care if other people have the same coverage, they’re selfish.

When people state they don’t want to pay for someone else’s health care, through higher taxes or increased premiums, even though it would make our society healthier and ultimately wealthier, they’re selfish.

When people ignore the fact that 62 per cent of all bankruptcies in this country are the result of medical indebtedness, they’re selfish.

When people pay no attention to the fact that the leading cause of home foreclosures is medical debt, they’re selfish.

When people slight the fact that one-quarter of all credit card indebtedness is due to medical costs, they’re selfish.

When people dismiss the fact that individuals without health insurance are at least 25 per cent more likely to die prematurely, they’re selfish.

When people overlook the fact that 45,000 Americans die each year due to lack of health insurance, they’re selfish.

My Funk & Wagnalls’ dictionary defines selfish as “caring chiefly for oneself or one’s own interests or comfort, especially to the point of disregarding the welfare or the wishes of others.” Hence, I think the adjective is quite appropriate.

Marshall Goldberg, M.D.

Oak Harbor

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