Health care is a right

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I want to compliment the Sun Journal editorial board for its insightful editorial of Feb. 25 on health care. The only fact missing was that the government (taxpayers) already pays 60 percent of all health care expenditures.

With all of the known facts, I find it very difficult to understand the terror of a public option. A public option, similar to Medicare, would solve many of the cited problems. It would also curtail the obscene salaries that the Sun Journal’s recent investigation revealed (Feb. 14).

Americans, chauvinistically, love to be No. 1. In health care spending, we are! Tragically, as the editorial pointed out, we are not No. 1 in results. The U.S. is 37th in infant mortality, 42nd in male mortality and 43rd in female mortality (under 65). That government program, Medicare, has ensured that seniors enjoy health outcomes similar to all other developed nations.

I would finally remind everyone that those who would deny the rest of us universal, accessible, affordable health insurance have just that for themselves and their families.

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Health care is a right and not a commodity for the privileged.

Stephen A. Sokol, M.D., DTMPH, Lewiston

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