Karen Porter in 1/26/07 Daily Local News:
This letter addresses Dan Pourreau’s recent criticism (Jan. 22) of my support for universal healthcare in the U.S. In that letter, Mr. Pourreau criticizes the compulsory French system, which combines universal coverage with a public-private mix (and is not the federal single-payer system I support for the U.S.). Here are some useful facts about the French system:
– Ranked as the Number 1 healthcare system in the world by the World Health Organization (in 2000)
– Coverage for 100 percent of its citizens (unlike the U.S. nonsystem leaving 47 million uninsured, many drowning in credit-card debt and bankruptcy, often as a matter of life and death)
– An extremely high rate of consumer satisfaction â€” four times as high as that in the U.S.
– A high degree of choice among providers
– A much lower infant morality rate than the U.S.
– A much higher level of care
– A much higher control of health-care expenditures with strong price controls
– A far lower share of gross domestic product (GDP) spent on healthcare than the U.S.
– Third in ranking in terms of life expectancy (just under first-place Japan and second-place Australia and far beyond 24th-place U.S.)
I always find it hard to understand those who resent so stridently helping the common citizenry (i.e., most of us) while never objecting to tax cuts, ballooning incomes, and huge welfare programs for the very wealthy. Like it or not, universal healthcare is on the way in this country — perhaps not in our lifetimes, but in the future.