To the editor:
I thank Cal Thomas for his Oct. 21 column. He clearly illustrates a major obstacle to much-needed health care reform: the healthy and wealthy who just don’t get it. Cal suggests anyone suffering under our current system must have made bad decisions. If they would “play by the rules, stay in school, refuse to take drugs, marry before having children, and stay married” then they would thrive under our current system. Cal’s self-righteous finger-wagging proves his ignorance, but fixes nothing.
Cal, I play by the rules. I stayed in school, kindergarten through master’s degree. I refuse drugs. My children, born in wedlock, were birthed by my one and only wife of 18 years. Teaching public school for 14 years, 28 percent of my income is now taken by health insurance premiums. That’s not a typo, nor did I leave out a decimal. Twenty-eight percent.
The student loans I accrued in school are now in deferment so I can insure my family. That deferment ends this year, and I don’t know how I’ll make the payments. Perhaps we just won’t eat. Meanwhile, my deductible and out-of-pocket expenses have increased 1,000 percent in one year. That’s no typo: one thousand percent.
Cal, you want people to work hard without government help. Fair enough, but ask the same of health insurance companies. Current antitrust law exemptions allow health insurance companies (and only health insurance companies) virtual monopolies; resulting in 400 percent profit growth in recent years while forcing preventable illness, death and financial ruin on millions of Americans.