, Salem, MA

December 19, 2013

Letter: What is Scott Brown's solution?

The Salem News

---- — To the editor:

Reading Scott Brown’s column (“Hypocrisy and double standards,” Dec. 17), I expected at some point, following his litany of reasons Obamacare will destroy America, to give us his “plan B” for improving our healthcare system. But, as usual, the Republican solution is to offer us nothing, maintain the status quo and protect those millionaire doctor, hospital and pharmaceutical CEO salaries: What the GOP has to offer is wealthcare, not healthcare. No doubt Brown has never been denied coverage for a pre-existing condition, or come close to financial ruin due to medical bills, the No. 1 cause of bankruptcy in America.

The bottom line is that our current profit-driven healthcare system is unaffordable and unsustainable. The Republican mantra about “taking personal responsibility” doesn’t seem to apply to uninsured Americans who turn up at the emergency room when the need arises, making the rest of us, the insured, cover their costs through higher insurance premiums generated by higher doctor and hospital bills. As Americans, we are guaranteed the right to “life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.” Certainly, universal access to affordable healthcare is a crucial part of these rights, most obviously “the right to life.” Other nations get this. Every advanced, developed nation has national healthcare, or a combination of that along with a private insurance option, except America. They see healthcare as a right, not big business. Their care-driven systems provide better health care for less money. (I can attest to this from personal experience.) The Affordable Healthcare Act is certainly no “single-payer” system, but at least it’s a step in the right direction.

Harry Bartnick