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Letter: Americans need universal health care

Published on January 31, 2018 5:39PM

Why do people turn to fundraisers and GoFundMe accounts when disaster hits and they are faced with a sudden healthcare crisis? Has it happened to you?

The recent horrific example happened in Pilot Rock when a young boy died from a flesh-eating bacteria. Emergency room, life flight to Portland, two different hospitals — a horrifying account of all the measures that were taken, and yet the boy died. At the end of the story were the details of the to-be-expected GoFundMe account and fundraising activities planned to help pay for medical and funeral expenses. A grieving family faced with exorbitant medical bills, possible bankruptcy, and the community now trying to help. It has happened and can happen to anyone.

This is one reason (of the many) why we need healthcare for all. However, a recent report of “legislative victory” for our Representative Greg Walden (R-OR2) with passage of the CHIP program says that he is most concerned with health care and gives “Thanks to all who called and wrote in support of funding this critically important health insurance program that provides coverage for at least 122,000 Oregon kids and pregnant women.”

Yes, the CHIP program is critically important and Greg Walden is all for the CHIP program, but why not health care for all? Last spring at Town Hall meetings in Hood River and The Dalles, Congressman Greg Walden asked the audiences “who supports health care for all?” Both crowds roared with approval.

Quit teasing us with these attempts at caring about health care. Now is the time, Greg Walden, to look at health care for all as a comprehensive, equitable, publicly funded and high-quality system to serve everyone — men, women and children. Health care for all, universal health care, Medicare for all. It is the right thing to do because not only will health care for all change lives (no more grief-stricken fundraisers), it will save lives too.

Beverly Sherrill

The Dalles


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