Letter to the Corvallis Gazette-Times
--by Michael Huntington, MD MidValley Health Care Advocates
Our uniquely American health care system limits our freedoms in brutish ways. It shackles employees to a job that provides health care insurance but little income or satisfaction. Many classified workers in schools in Oregon and California work for no pay other than health insurance--which may come with high deductibles, fine print exclusions, and a false sense of security. Creative and industrious Americans who under a fairer system would be independent entrepreneurs and helping our economy are trapped in dead-end jobs.
Dear Abby on November 21 gives us another glimpse at our health care system in a letter sent to her entitled, “Say something nice to ex on anniversary.” The letter begins with a sad commentary on healthcare in America, “My wife and I are permanently separated, but will not divorce because she would lose health coverage under my employer’s plan.” Other permanently separated couples have similarly put their lives on hold because they do not want either partner to go without health insurance.
Everyone needs health care. Health insurance and access to health care should not depend on one’s job, spouse, income, age, or state of health. The Affordable Care Act (Obamacare) will lessen these dependencies and help people in the lower third income bracket for a few years but then will likely fade away as uncontrolled costs take over. By then we must enact a system of everybody in, nobody out. Come help Mid Valley Health Care Advocates make it happen.