James Wisbauer asks why my taxes should go toward his health care ( Letter to the Editor andquot;Why should other people pay for other people's health care?andquot; Nov 3). I respond with a few questions of my own.
You drive a beat up old pickup truck. Why should a person without a car pay for your roads? You have a son with teenage kids. Why should a person with no kids pay for their education? You are on a fixed income. Why should our teenagers pay social security benefits today that you may be receiving today, when it's quite possible that teenager will never receive them?
The answer is simple. Because a civilized nation uses its resources to support its citizens. I guess I don't understand why people think a fire department, police department, or a military should be there when needed by anyone, but that healthcare should not. Perhaps instead of viewing it as you paying for someone else's care, James, you can view it more like insurance, which it is. If we all pay a little each month into the system, then no one has to pay tens or hundreds of thousands of dollars at the one point they really need it. Not all people have the capability to pay for their own healthcare. I'd argue that very few people have the ability to pay when they become incapacitated. But if we all pay, we all can benefit. In fact, the ideal situation is that you never benefit from what you've paid inif you get to use your benefit, it's because you are injured or sick. If you honestly don't want others to pay for your healthcare, James, be sure to never take advantage of Medicare and to always pay full cost for any prescriptions you may need.
Also, I believe you ask your question with a sense of the sheer cost of U.S. healthcare. You understand there is a real burden in paying these costs. In the U.S., healthcare costs dwarf those of other nations. Our costs are nearly twice per capita what they are in Canada, yet we surely don't receive twice the value (and no, my facts don't come from any Michael Moore movieI have never seen andquot;Sickoandquot;). Unfortunately, these costs continue to rise, much much faster than income. If the government was involved here, as it is in other nations, perhaps a little regulation could control these runaway expenses. Because I've seen no evidence that the insurance companies and hospitals want to slow them down.
Why should my taxes go to your healthcare, James? They shouldn'tthey should go toward a system that everyone can benefit from, including me when I need it. But hopefully I won't.