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Evritt Letter - 07/08/09

With regard to the health care debate, one fact must receive emphasis: corporations "took over" our health care decades ago. The cost of this takeover has been great, both to our economy and to our health.

No other industrial country spends as much as ours on health care. The difference between what we spend compared to the rest of the industrialized world is around 4 percent of our GDP, our entire multi-trillion dollar economic output. Yet this massive amount of money comes from the provision of the spotty health care we receive now.

Second, the insurance industry makes its money, not by keeping us healthy, but by paying out as little as possible. This includes denying us medical procedures and medicine we need. The stories of abuses by this industry in denying claims are many. Anyone who has seen a list of "approved doctors" or a list of "approved medications" knows our choice is already limited.

We have rationed health care, but rationing solely designed to maximize profits. Our health is at best a secondary consideration.

Any debate over the future of health care must acknowledge this fundamental circumstance. We already live in a health care system that has been "taken over" by a corporate interest that has put itself between us and our doctors. The question is not a "take over" but what entity will give us the most say in the health care we receive.

Roy Evritt

Oxford