In recent letters, members of the insurance industry and their supporters say we must pledge allegiance to the American for-profit health care system, or be branded socialists.

Anthem Blue Cross made a profit of only $40 million last year.

We are told there is a need to charge higher premiums to Maine people who most need health care – high-risk pools – to save healthier people money. How high-risk people afford care is not their problem.

This idea comes from people who think if you are taken to the hospital in an ambulance, but don’t call the insurance company when you arrive, then they do not have to pay. Currently, free choice is going to a doctor that is approved by your insurance company for procedures that are profitable. It took my sister two days to find a new pediatrician for her children when her employer changed insurance companies. She had to leave the doctor she knew and trusted for one she did not.

People opposed to a single-payer or any government-administered program fail to mention the U.S. health care system is ranked 37th in the world for quality, yet remains the most expensive. The better 36 are socialist programs. Socialized medicine also reduces costs for employers and makes them more competitive.

I believe there are more important things than profit. I believe the health of humans is more important than corporate balance sheets. If that makes me a socialist, then so be it.

Rick Ness, Auburn

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