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Letters for May 30: America needs a single-payer healthcare system

Re Patients Served by Transparency in Healthcare Pricing (Other opinions, May 18): Dr. Michael Laynes’ editorial was quite good. We do not have a universal, socialized system of medicine in the United States due to the power and influence exercised by insurance companies, the pharmaceutical industry, and other non-direct care organizations. Their financial support of our elected officials ensures that no significant legislation will ever be considered in Congress.

When Medicare expansion was proposed, the torrent of scare tactics commercials on TV was overwhelming. When Congress pushed to allow Medicare and Medicaid to negotiate drug prices, the pharmaceutical industry ran numerous TV ads touting the leak of future cancer research and other drugs as a false claim.

Pharmaceutical companies will go wherever the most significant profit lies. It is well known within the pharmaceutical community that research is not focused on cures but on adjuvant medicines. Patients have to take these drugs for long periods, creating more profit for the company.

Healthcare is driven by profits, not human needs. This results in putting many people at serious risk. Until the American people force Congress to take action to control health care costs by replacing insurance companies with a National Health Insurance program (single-payer system) that can negotiate rates for all health care, we will be stuck with an overpriced, underperforming healthcare system.

Talbot N. Vivian, DHA, LFACHE, Yorktown

President Joe Biden has presented his budget, but Republicans have yet to begin the budget negotiation process. What is at issue is whether we pay off debts already incurred, which has rarely been a question since the beginning of our governments.

Biden’s budget proposes raising taxes on citizens earning more than $400,000 a year. This means that anyone earning $400,000 or less will not see a tax hike. This includes most of the American public. For citizens making more than $400,000 a year, it makes sense that they help give back some of your earnings. You may not feel this way, but I would like you to think about the following.

Nobody does anything alone. In fact, the ability to come up with an idea for a new business, the ability to move forward depends on dozens, if not more, people supporting you. Employees, civil servants, infrastructure, colleagues and your family members all contribute to your success and advancement. The more a person increases in income and advancement, more and more people are working as hard as you for much less compensation, so that you and your business or you and your family can continue to advance.

The idea that taxes redistribute your wealth is a misconception with huge consequences. Ever since President Ronald Reagan, Republicans have been saying that if we just cut taxes, everyone will be better off. Yet this has never been proven true. Exactly the opposite happens: the rich keep getting richer.

Susan Feathers, Virginia Beach

Points of view


The most important opinion content of the week and the opportunity to participate in a weekly question on a topic that affects our region.

The most efficient way to deal with the current debt ceiling crisis is to eliminate the debt ceiling. Only one other democratic nation on earth uses a debt ceiling (Denmark), and the Danes use it very differently (and better) than we do.

Of course we have to deal with our national debt. Our annual budget and appropriation process is a rigorous and thorough process that I can attest to, having worked on federal budgets for 30 years. If the rules and timelines are followed, the job gets done. Things derailing this process include the insistence by some that tax cuts for the rich pay for themselves. Add to that unfunded wars based on non-existent weapons of mass destruction.

Congress must stop this foolish talk of a national default. While there is much bipartisan blame to be shared, the hypocrisy of the Republican Party must be noted. Republicans are insisting on draconian cuts to social programs after voting to raise former President Donald Trump’s debt ceiling three times under four years, while passing massive tax cuts for super-wealthy individuals and corporations. Work together to change, please.

Larry Stalling, Virginia Beach

During the fiscal year, when cash receipts are exceeded by expenditures, we run a deficit. If the deficit remains at the end of the fiscal year, that amount is transferred to public debt. Shooting wars are expensive whether you win or lose. If a debt default occurs, panic ensues. The stock market could crash; unemployment could reach double digits; and Social Security, Veterans benefits, and military payments could be delayed or stopped. The three branches of government will have actually pissed off the bureaucrats because there will potentially be no Treasury employees or anyone else. Maybe there will be a run on the banks from people taking their money and hiding the money in mattresses.

Let’s face it, we’re going to have to bite the bullet: raise taxes at all income levels and capital gains. Close all tax loopholes and cut spending. Perhaps in less than a generation the nation will be debt-free.

Robert T. Neely, Newport News

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