“We have the 37th worst quality of health care in the developed world. And the most costly. Costing more than twice as much as every other county. Conservative estimates are that over 120,000 of you dies each year in America from treatable illness that people in other developed countries don’t die from. Rich, middle class, and poor alike. Insured and uninsured. Men, women, children, and babies. This is what being 37th in quality of healthcare means.” — Jacksmith (businessweek.com)

My most recent experience with the health care system involved an urgent visit to Stephens Memorial Hospital in Norway. The staff received, processed and treated me with efficiency, professionalism and friendliness. Praise for one and all.

Jacksmith’s scathing portrait found no corroboration in my experience at Stephens nor in my recent experiences, on behalf of various family members, at hospitals in Amherst, Portland, Rumford or Lewiston. Statements like his, whether buried in blogs or read off a presidential teleprompter, amount to little more than artificial crisis inducers. They promote panic, despair and fear which serve as covers beneath which the government rips apart the existing health care system’s every institutional sinew and absorbs wholesale its severed parts.

If Democrats wanted to only reduce costs, improve efficiencies and increase coverage, they would tweak the nation’s excellent health system and adjust it to meet those ends. That the party must first, at intolerable expense, trash every grace the present system possesses betrays its likely commitment to darker visions of social engineering and political control.

Leonard Hoy, Greenwood

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