Two letters published in the Herald (Dec. 28) equate health-care reform with communism and socialism. Both claim we're
headed to social and financial ruin if a bill is passed, and doomed to a Third World health system. As Sen. Daniel
Patrick Moynihan once said, Everyone is entitled to their own opinion but not their own facts." Let's set aside
hysteria about a path to communism and look at those facts.
The bill is revenue neutral, according to the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office. Yes, it may put taxes on
America's wealthiest back to where they were at the end of the Clinton administration - when the United States last had
a budget surplus - but the legislation would not add to the deficit.
We don't have the best health system in the world by any ranking system that takes into account the key factors of
coverage, cost and quality. We have the best technology and the highest prices, but that does not mean we have the best
outcomes. Those in the trenches - doctors, in particular - know this and are supporting the legislation
The current structure is profoundly affecting the pocketbook of the American worker and anyone else who pays for health
coverage now. Right now, we face a fiscal death spiral, where those who pay support those who don't. The money needed
to prop up a system with cost increases of 7 percent a year comes out of wages. Money saved by having more payers -
even those who are subsidized or who pay fines for not getting coverage - goes back into the economy.
Think about that last point: If the cost of your insurance went down because more people were in the system, would your
employer cut your wages? Hardly.
Of course, this is letting facts get in the way of those who provided the most pathetically ironic quote of 2009: Keep
your government hands off my Medicare." Heaven forbid we should have progressive legislation that puts a new set of
hands on the stifling, anti-competitive, like-it-or-lump-it system we have now. Where are the facts that support the
Richard Norton, Durango