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Letter: Why perpetuate a broken system?

| August 11, 2009 12:00 AM

Dear Editor:

We have an almost 70 year experience with employer-sponsored health insurance, and that method of financing U.S health care has been steadily unraveling.

Employers today are spending an average of about $10,000 a year for health coverage for each employee with a family of four.

Only three in five large employers now offer any kind of health-care coverage, and many are cutting back or eliminating retiree health benefits.

Small businesses offering coverage dropped from 61 percent in 1993 to just 38 percent today.

What American business desperately needs is containment of its health-care costs and a healthy work force in order to compete in the 21st century. It will not get that from “reforms” now being debated in Congress.

Ironically, the goals of health care reform – cost containment, universal access and improved quality of care – can be met by a single-payer national health insurance, which would provide universal coverage and cost less than what employers and the public are paying now.

But since that option would reduce insurance profits in a runaway market system, it is not being considered by politicians, beholden as they are to corporate money.

Mike Thomas

Helena