We Cannot Afford the Cost of Health Care

[Letter from David F. Haas]

We must reduce the cost of health care in the U.S. because we can no longer afford it. Upper middle-class friends tell me that they cannot afford health insurance for next year. Anyone under 65 who buys individual insurance may be in serious trouble.

It does not have to be this way. Effective ways to control the cost of health care are available, but we have refused to use them. Both Republicans and Democrats offer ineffective prescriptions because neither party has come to grips with the underlying reasons for the high cost of health care in our country.

Republicans pretend that the only problem is federal spending. They propose to turn Medicare into a voucher program and Medicaid into a block grant program. This approach will reduce federal spending, but the cost itself will continue to rise, and we will all suffer.

Democrats pretend that if the government offers health insurance to everyone, the problem will go away. They propose Medicare for all or Badgercare for all. Those programs will help individuals in the short run, but the programs will be unsustainable without cost controls. Individuals will end up bearing the cost, and we will all suffer.

We can solve this problem only if we really understand why health care is so expensive here. To learn more, you should attend the event at Copper Rock in downtown Appleton on Nov. 20, where Marty Finkler and Bill McLaughlin will speak. You can also read my blog post on the cost of health care. Then, you should watch the video “Sick around the World.” Finally, the books “The Healing of America” and “An American Sickness” will give you a deeper understanding.

Please inform yourself. If enough of us do that, we will be able to save ourselves from the morass we are in.

David F. Haas,