Economic competition would not bring big Pharma or medical suppliers to their knees; it would just make them leaner and more efficient. As T.R. Reid points out in “The Health of America,” health insurance companies in Europe, required to be nonprofits, still vie for customers.

Whenever I hear the label “socialist” applied to “Obamacare,” I wonder if those people using those terms realize that all other industrial First-World countries that have universal, government-supported health care are democracies.

Britons may tinker with their national health and some wealthy Canadians may come to the states to jump the queue, but no such country has rejected its overall health plan.

New Zealand, the origin of bungee jumping, and Australia, home to Mad Max, are healthy places, in no small part due to their universal coverage. One can pay for a supplementary care plan, but basic coverage is available to all.

There are aspects of medical care in this country — such as 40 to 50 million citizens without health insurance — that make the U.S. resemble the Third World.

If we embrace such socialistic notions as Medicare and Social Security, for which all of us pay, what is wrong with the notion of a national health plan? As a prime minister of England (Benjamin Disraeli) once said: “The health of the people is really the foundation upon which all their happiness and all their powers as a state depend.”

Edward Walworth, Lewiston

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