This is what we know: The United States has the resources, infrastructure and capital to have the best health care system in the world. But, as a nation, people pay more and get less. Nearly 50 million Americans are still living without health coverage — an accident or illness away from bankruptcy.
That number continues to grow as employers drop health care insurance benefits, folks lose their jobs as a result of the recession and the monthly demands of insurance premiums become impossible to meet.
Guaranteeing insurance company profits comes before the health and well-being of family, friends and neighbors. For instance, Anthem reports profits in the tens of millions of dollars every year, but still sued the taxpayers of Maine because it was denied an 18 percent rate hike on "Health Choice" and "Luminous" individual policies.
We need health care reform that addresses the fundamental problems in the system. Insurance companies are not focused on providing the public with a quality, affordable, dependable product. Rather, they put profits before people.
Officials in Washington would have people believe that the problem is too complicated to be solved. It's actually quite simple: Big insurance wants to maintain the status quo so it can continue to make millions at the expense of American workers and families.
The health care insurance reform bill before Congress includes measures that should be counted as victories, but we need a public plan so that all people can have access to the health care we deserve.
Kate Brennan, Lewiston