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U.S. Must Catch Up To Other Nations

Home News Tribune / MyCentralJersey.com — Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Letters to the Editor

Mr. Calvin Wortman of Avenel writes that the United States "has the best health care the world has ever known." I'm not sure about the best, but it is certainly the most expensive. In 2007, health care expenses were equivalent to 16 percent of our GDP, and the Council of Economic Advisors predicts that this will rise to 34 percent by 2040. Anyone who is worried about the solvency of our nation should advocate health reform.

Even while we spend more money, our outcomes aren't as good. The United States has a higher infant mortality rate, a shorter life expectancy, and a higher number of preventable deaths than most other industrialized nations. We don't even offer coverage to all Americans.

If Mr. Wortman wants to discuss the effectiveness of government programs, perhaps he ought to look to industrialized nations whose governments have adopted universal health care: They enjoy lower costs and better outcomes than we do, while providing care to all of their citizens.

It is imperative that we provide Americans with the affordable, quality health care they need. This is why I support the House of Representatives' "America's Affordable Health Choices Act," which includes a public health insurance option. I urge you to call your representatives and tell them the same.

JIM WALSH
Program Director
New Jersey Citizen Action
Highland Park

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