Gather to support Medicare for all

To the editor,

Recently, as I went to pay my check in a restaurant, I noticed a plea for help taped to the glass counter. A man had been in a bad traffic accident and was hospitalized. He had no medical insurance. I dropped a dollar into the bucket, wondering how far this meager collection would go toward paying his hospital bills.

This type of story is not nearly as rare as it should be. Although the number of Americans who do not have health insurance has fallen, there are still over 27 million of us who go without it.

This is completely unnecessary. All the other developed countries on earth provide health care to their citizens at an average cost that is less than half the price we spend. And despite the $3.2 trillion we lay out each year on health care (that’s $9,990 for every man, woman and child in the U.S.) we rank low in health-care outcomes among the rich countries.

A fairly simple plan called “The Medicare for All Act” has been introduced into the Senate and so far has 17 co-sponsors. It expands our existing Medicare system to provide lifelong health care to every American. It would save money by making our health-care system much more efficient.

Rallies to support the bill are planned across Colorado as part of Universal Health Care Coverage Day, marking the anniversary of the United Nations’ 2012 unanimous endorsement of universal health coverage.

Come to Buckley Park, Durango at noon on Tues., Dec. 12 to show your support.

We can have a health-care system that costs less and covers us all.

– Philip Riffe, Durango