Letter to the Editor: Sowell off base with health care column | TahoeDailyTribune.com

Letter to the Editor: Sowell off base with health care column

Linda Jamin
South Lake Tahoe

Editor’s note: This letter is in reference to Thomas Sowell’s column published on July 25

Mr. Thomas Sowell, member of the Hoover Institution, should be able to clearly expose his analysis of the health care situation in our country and the pros and cons of the various solutions being proposed.

However, he’s obviously not up to the task. He lays out the principles upon which a solution should be based (quality, affordability and accessibility for all), but instead of examining possible solutions he asserts that care provided in the United States is already the best in the world. He states, for example, that cancer survival rates here are better than in countries with government-run health systems, which is false according to many experts.

Is he citing the recent international “CONCORD” study in which the United States is compared to all of Europe, which encompasses even more socioeconomic diversity than the 50 American states? According to my source on the study, the U.S. only had the highest survival rate for breast and prostate cancer. My source also indicates that the survival rate for the 17 regions in the United States that were included in the study ranged from 78 per cent to 90 per cent and the disparity in rates crossed racial lines. White patients had a five-year survival rate of 84.7 percent and black patients had a survival rate of 70.9 percent.

That is exactly what people in favor of reforming the system have been saying. Mr. Sowell, who is black, apparently doesn’t have a problem with that.

As for the uninsured, he brushes them off. It is disturbing to discover that a supposedly intelligent, informed scholar is not ashamed to insinuate that uninsured people are just cheaters who prefer to spend their money on luxuries (like food, childcare and transportation?) rather than on health care.

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His conclusion is that paying higher taxes for health care and losing the right to choose the kind of care you get is not a good deal. Which of the bills in congress is proposing that?