To the Editor:
Do you realize that GM spends more on healthcare than it does on steel? That’s what Gary Cowger, president of General Motors’ North American operations, revealed back in 2004.
Healthcare costs added “$1,200 to the cost of each GM vehicle.” Surely the situation is far more dire after 19 more years of U.S. healthcare inflation. That’s a real problem for U.S. businesses competing against companies from countries that have national health plans that keep their healthcare costs considerably lower. In “Canadians don’t understand Ted Cruz’s healthcare battle” (Sept. 25, 2013, Washington Post) a Canadian businessman who has experienced both the U.S. and Canadian systems said that Canadian divisions of multinational firms love Canada’s system. His peers view the U.S. debate as “ideological and not based on economics.” Outrageous U.S. healthcare costs also seriously burden state and local budgets. Just a few days ago, an article in from The Century Foundation pointed out that states must “spend a relatively greater percentage of their budgets on medical services, limiting their ability to fund [other] programs that may promote greater population health.”
Add in the misery that over 100 million Americans suffer because of medical debt, high insurance deductibles, and the effort to pay for healthcare without skipping rent, mortgage payments, and groceries, and you really have to wonder, what in the name of God will it take for us to finally see through the well-funded propaganda against a national health program and finally do something about this disaster?