Cait Vaughan of the Southern Maine Workers’ Center describes health care as a human right and says the sole qualification required for eligibility is being “born human” (“Letter to the editor: Every person has a right to health care,” March 10). And for this distinction, President Obama decided the best avenue for these humans to ensure their right is to force them to buy insurance.

Contrary to Ms. Vaughan’s implications, the president’s health insurance is not free. Therefore, if you are at the poverty level and forced to buy one thing, you may not be able to afford something else, such as food and shelter, which means people will continue to need assistance. This is similar to robbing Peter to pay Paul.

A peculiar element to this saga is President Obama’s own inaction to his signature legislation. A significant number of uninsured, and most loyal supporters, are young people, and he is not properly conveying the repercussions for not buying health insurance.

For example, a young person who just received a tax refund this year will be shocked to discover a substantial tax bill owed next year if no health insurance is purchased by March 31, unless they ask for an extension.

Ms. Vaughan concludes that the resolution to a profit-driven health system is total government takeover. But, for example, does society need a government takeover of grocery stores? Does a loaf of bread cost $1,299?

The problem with the health care industry is greed enabled by legislatures. Until the massive wall separating this industry from responsibility crumples, there will be limited improvement.

Kevin Benjamin
South Portland


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