The latest news is that Senate Republicans are going to pass a new health care bill without any hearings. Sen. Susan Collins has been silent on this fast-tracking, although she and Sen. Bill Cassidy, R-La., have proposed their own replacement for the Affordable Care Act.

Why isn’t she out front on this? The answer may lie in the fact that her plan is flawed and does nothing to solve the fundamental problem with our expensive health care system: the profit motive.

Every other wealthy nation has come to the conclusion that profit cannot be a motive when delivering health care. There was a time when major insurance companies like Blue Cross-Blue Shield were nonprofits, so this should not be a foreign concept for Americans. What is needed is a plan that eliminates profit and covers everyone, regardless of income.

Of course, this requires us to agree that health care for all is a right. We are the only wealthy nation that struggles with this moral question. Why?

Ask older Americans if they like Medicare or ask vets if they like the Veterans Affairs system and the majority say “Keep your hands off my health care.” The Cassidy-Collins bill fails to consider any of the good features of either system and instead relies on the profit motive for delivering health care. Simply put: You make profits only when you insure healthy people, make coverage very expensive for sick people and allow millions to go without any health care.

If we, the public, answer that moral question in the affirmative, we then need to demand that politicians craft a plan that contains the best features of Medicare and the VA system. Simple, but maybe impossible in our polarized nation. Sad.

Tom Mikulka

Healthcare Committee, Elders for Future Generations

Cape Elizabeth