To the editor:
Mark Hirschey may have a bit more research to do regarding his admonition that “more government meddling is an unlikely solution” for health care reform (Journal-World Jan. 24).
Although the professor acknowledges he buys health insurance through Kansas University, he doesn’t admit that his employer provides health insurance through the government-run state employee health plan. If he has single coverage, the government subsidizes 95 percent of his insurance premiums. If he has family coverage, the government subsidizes 55 percent of his premium (www.khpa.ks.gov).
Next, he tells us he received excellent cancer care at two public academic medical centers, but fails to mention they are both significantly supported by government dollars (KUMC received over $100 million in state general funds last year; www.kumc.edu).
Finally, the high quality of care he received is in fact highly regulated by the government, thus he could be assured that the physicians treating him were licensed by the government (through the Kansas Board of Healing Arts), that the pharmaceuticals he needs are regulated by the government for safety and efficacy (through the Food and Drug Administration), and the cures and treatments he received were possible because of the investment in basic science research, overwhelmingly provided by the government (the National Institutes of Health budget last year was over $30 billion; www.nih.gov).
It is a blessing that Hirschey’s cancer is in remission, but many Americans don’t have good paying government jobs, with generous government-provided health insurance benefits. Perhaps government involvement in health care isn’t as bad as the professor professes.