Vail Daily letter: An American problem |

Vail Daily letter: An American problem

Health insurance is not a Republican or a Democratic problem. It is an American problem. It presents us with an opportunity to be pragmatic and reasonable instead of being driven by ideology and campaign contributions. Have any of our elected officials actually studied what works and what doesn’t work in other modern countries? This novel approach might enlighten some of our legislators. One possibility that would not be too radical a shift would be to create a variation of the Public Option discussed several years ago.

We already have the mechanics in place. Lower the eligibility age for Medicare by five years annually and allow people to “buy in.” Medicare costs would go down as it would gain a healthier risk pool. Additionally, increasing or eliminating the unfair FICA cap would make Medicare solvent into the foreseeable future. Anyone who doesn’t want to buy in could stay with their current private or employer funded insurance.

I’d love to hear more ideas. Other countries have figured this out. I’m sure we can, too. Their plans may have glitches, but their populations are not clamoring to have an American style, for profit health insurance system. Let’s forget ideology and do what is right for the American people. We can join the rest of the world and acknowledge that health care is a right, not a privilege for the 1 percent.

Carole Onderdonk

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