Letter - We have poor healthcare rankingsI wonder where Echo Press columnist DuWayne Paul gets his information when he states “the quality of U.S. healthcare is the best in the world,” (Echo Press, July 4, 2012).
To the editor:
I wonder where Echo Press columnist DuWayne Paul gets his information when he states “the quality of U.S. healthcare is the best in the world,” (Echo Press, July 4, 2012).
The data from the World Health Report shows the U.S. healthcare is ranked 37th in the world, with infant mortality ranking 39th, and life expectancy 42nd. This, while the U.S. spends $7,290 per capita, double the healthcare expenditure of any other country. Can there be any question that the U.S. needs healthcare reform?
Small wonder we have poor ranking when we have over 30 million uninsured people whose primary healthcare is the expensive hospital emergency room, which each of us pays for in higher insurance rates or taxes. Additionally, insurance can be denied for pre-existing conditions, dropped for contracting a chronic disease, or for exceeding maximum dollar limits. These are the type of inequities that the Affordable Care Act corrects along with improving the quality of healthcare and reducing healthcare costs. The nonpartisan Office of Management and Budget scored the act as reducing the federal deficit $143 billion this decade.
Mr. Paul also implies this act is a government takeover of healthcare while the act is actually an extension of current private insurance.
He also incorrectly states that the Supreme Court declared the individual mandate unconstitutional. In fact, Chief Justice Roberts in the majority opinion defined the mandate as a tax within the taxing power of Congress. The individual mandate imposes an income tax penalty on anyone choosing to not carry insurance. This rather minor penalty would be $95 or 1 percent of taxable income in 2014 for those taxpayers that can afford health insurance. The mandate is projected to affect less than 1 percent of all taxpayers and is much the same as Governor Romney enacted in Massachusetts’ healthcare system.