Other nations’ health systems work better than ours



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To the editor:

As Senators Graham and Cassidy attempted to jam through the latest and most horrific repeal and replacement yet of the Affordable Health Care Act — righteously proclaiming that it’s socialism vs. federalism — the GOP-controlled Senate totally ignored the charge from the AMA and other groups that it violated the “do no harm” principle, nor did the senate seem to care about any cost findings (this proposal was put together in such a rush that the independent Congressional Budget Office said it would not have time to fully evaluate its impact before a vote).

What’s especially frightening is that these sycophants had done no serious homework but instead wanted a “win” at all costs without fully realizing the cruel consequences of any so-called “victory.”

Unable to keep things simple, they ignored what other countries have done. In this regard (and with a nod to the New Hampshire Gazette of Sept. 1), an article in the August 12 issue of The Economist describes a number of health care insurance systems in Europe and goes far in dispelling the myth of “it’s socialism.”

“These systems fall roughly into three paradigms: 1) the government provides both health insurance and care, employing doctors and running hospitals; 2) the government provides universal health insurance, but leaves the care to the private sector; 3) the government leaves both insurance and care to the private sector but uses regulations, subsidies and an individual mandate to guarantee that everyone is covered.”

As a reader to the aforementioned Gazette wrote, “Each country has its unique version of these broad categories … European countries’ health-insurance systems are much simpler [than that of the U.S] with lower costs.”

Having lived in Switzerland and also being very familiar with the health care systems of several other countries (such as the U.K., The Netherlands, France, Belgium, etc.) I know as a fact that these systems work.

As a minimum, they should be reviewed in depth. That’s what senators are supposed to do. Work and try to refrain from doing harm to the people instead of sycophantically appeasing a president who promised during the campaign to “save Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security without cuts” but then turns around and now attempts to gut Medicaid.

Ted Sares

North Conway

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