While in Holland, I suffered a cut to my wrist. They have nationalized health. It’s part of the infrastructure, like the water utility, and regulated to ensure the common good. I had nine stitches and was sent on my way in half-an-hour. I remarked, “I’m just traveling through Holland. I’m a tourist. Where do I pay?” The answer, “So? No one has to pay.”

I left without giving my name.

It was a Saturday in Millinocket when I cut the edge of my hand on some flashing and had to use the emergency room. There, I was first asked for my insurance card, then given a gauze pad to stop the bleeding. Back to the desk for more information. A half-hour later, the intern said a couple of strip sutures would do. For two strip sutures, some “super glue” and a 2-inch-wide Band-Aid my co-pay cost was $100. For that, I could have a lifetime’s worth of bandages. When I later complained, I was told the total cost was $795.

There is something wrong with a profit-oriented “health” care system. Insurance is a business to make a profit. They need 30 percent more than every procedure they pay for, for Wall Street, lobbyists and to pay politicians.

My little cut cost those who pay for insurance $1,054. If that doesn’t make you want to have nonprofit, government-controlled Medicare-for-all, then you deserve to keep the profit-making, insurance-controlled sickness care system that you have — until you lose your job, of course.

Richard Fochtmann, Leeds


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