I fully concur with letter writer Dr. Thomas McInerney’s plea for universal health care (“Disjointed health care system makes virus’ toll worse,” Dec. 18). But why should pleading be necessary? Isn’t it self-evident that a wealthy country should have a health care system guaranteeing a high level of care to all? Other advanced countries do. How can we tolerate being so far behind?

Apparently, my proposition is not self-evident to everyone. Opponents of universal health care tend to believe that unfairness is inevitable and that nothing can or should be done about it – certainly not by government. Creating a program that would benefit everyone equally regardless of ability to pay is regarded with suspicion.

It is hard to persuade such skeptics that a kinder philosophy would make for a happier society. I can only affirm my own conviction that as a country, we have a responsibility to ensure that all our citizens are cared for, regardless of their level of success in our highly competitive economy.

Those skeptical of government-run health insurance frequently equate it, erroneously, with “socialized medicine.” Under plans being proposed, delivery of medical services – doctors’ practices, hospitals, pharmacies, testing labs, etc. – would remain in private hands.

Readers interested in health care might consider involvement with the work of Maine AllCare. At the Maine AllCare website is a report describing a public health care plan for the state of Maine modeled on Medicare and explaining how it would be funded. A key conclusion is that the state’s total health care expenditure would actually decrease.

Michael P. Bacon

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