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We aren’t stupid


What puts almost every American in danger of financial ruin?

Has America lost her “can do” spirit? I grew up hearing, “Americans are the greatest innovators in the world.” Now we are being led to believe that we lack the capability to innovate.

The fearmongers keep harping on problems other countries have with universal healthcare; therefore we shouldn’t even try a system of our own. Although other countries’ systems are rated better than ours, even with their problems, we are told there’s no way we can come up with an affordable, innovative plan. Are we are a nation of dummies?

Our system not only causes the deaths of an estimated 22,000 uninsured and under-insured people annually, it is the cause of much of our personal economic decline. Since the start of this century, profits of the health insurance companies have gone up 458 percent, and premiums have gone up 87 percent, four times faster than the average American’s wages.

The public option that is being discussed is not socialized medicine. It will not limit choices; it will offer more. It will create the kind of competition that will start to bring down the premiums of private plans. If you are happy with the insurance you have, you don’t have to deal with the public option.

Our present system puts almost every American in danger of financial ruin. Over 62 percent of personal bankruptcies are caused by medical debt, and 75 percent of those were filed by people who had insurance.

A workforce dependent on employer-provided health insurance hurts our economy, sends jobs overseas and places people in a very precarious position. If you become seriously ill and can no longer work, you lose your insurance just when you need it most.

Polls show that 76 percent of Americans want a strong public health option as part of any reform, but we will be ignored unless we bug our members of Congress relentlessly.

Remind them that if we can afford wars to protect business interests, bailouts for big business and fat subsidies for the oil industry and agribusiness, we can afford universal healthcare for every American. 

Carole Dunn, Ocean Springs


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