Letters to the Editor

We already pay everyone's health care

The top priority for medical insurance companies is profit. Their goal is to take in as much as possible in premiums and pay out as little as possible in benefits. This is good business, but not good health care.

The health care for millions of Americans working for or retired from federal, state and local governments, the military, people with low incomes, in prison, and on Medicare and Medicaid is paid with tax dollars. For those covered by private-sector health plans, everyone pays for their coverage when they buy products or services. Businesses must include the cost of health insurance when they calculate the prices they charge for what they sell. The cost of health care inflates the price of everything we buy and service we use. No American has free or even low-cost health care. Regardless of a person's economic or employment status, as a consumer and taxpayer (including sales tax), we are paying the entire health care bill (including private insurance companies' profits).

Americans decided long ago that universal, compulsory education was a worthwhile investment; shouldn't universal health care be even more valuable? Medicare works and should be expanded to include every American.

ROBERT HEYWOOD

Modesto

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