Of electric bills and healthcare

To the editor:

Re the Oct. 13-26 issue. I wish to comment on the article, “Truth and Tales about Electricity” and separately about the letter by Ted Sares (“Other nations’ health systems work better than ours”).

Mr. Kreis wrote a great piece showing just how fouled up our electric system is. Every month I divide the dollars owed to the power company by the kWhs I used. Last month the cost was $0.21415 per kWh, a far cry from what the consumer is led to believe.

And then we have the cost of the Berlin facility, as reported earlier this year in NHBR (“Biomass deal hits ratepayers,” May 26-June 8 NH Business Review), some $100 million of above-market electricity that the consumer must pay over five years. And this sum was passed on to the consumer without a murmur, as they knew nothing about it until it was too late.

With respect to Mr. Sares for a great letter from an obviously well-qualified man, I ask why no one includes Canada when mentioning other healthcare systems. They have been at it since the mid-1960s, and while it is always evolving, they do have a huge head start in terms of experience. I have relatives in Canada, and recently one of my male relatives had a pacemaker installed. There was no cost to him, except for a few low-cost drugs. At Portsmouth Hospital, I was told, the cost would be $175,000. If not insured, $125,000. The device my relative had inserted was made by Medtronics, which has a facility in Portsmouth.

Twelve or 13 years ago, my wife was afflicted Alzheimer’s and was prescribed Abilify by her doctor. A year’s prescription cost some $18,000 locally. I bought it in Canada for $1,770 for a year. It was the same drug in the same package and checked by her doctor. Had I bought it in the U.S., I would be destitute now.

By wonderful coincidence, “60 Minutes” recently aired a show dealing with the price of drugs. Congress was, by implication, indicted as the cause for usurious drug prices; they are the enabler. And this type of thing is not just affecting the drug industry. Agriculture subsidies are on a long list. It has been estimated that the American cost of living would be cut in half if subsidies and other forms of protection were eliminated.

I suggest the IRS conduct a lifestyle audit of all members of Congress. The law is already on the books and is being used to catch tax evaders.

Donald Bradley


Categories: Letters to the Editor, Opinion