No one better steal my health insurance from me


(re: “So, what is great journalism?” Oct. 24)

Dear me, dear me, where to begin? The “push for socialized medicine” continues and grows each week in the pages of The Riverdale Press. The most recent diatribe was published as a Point of View column by Judith Esterquest.

Let me say right at the beginning of my own Point of View: All the promoters of socialized medicine refuse to call it what it is. They hide behind a barrage of euphemisms: “single-payer,” “Medicare for All,” “universal care,” “free health care” — anything “clever” to avoid the truth. That is, what is plain and simple, socialized medicine.

Socialized medicine means the federal government will own and operate the American health care system. How to pay for it? With taxpayer money, of course. Does the federal government have the expertise to run the health care system? Gee whiz, do folks remember recently how badly the feds ran the Veterans Affairs health care system? Sad to say, really, really badly for years.

It is better now, but for years, many veterans were mistreated and ignored. And the population of veterans in the U.S.A., is only a small portion of the roughly 325 million people who live within our borders.

Not to worry, though, according to Judith Esterquest. She praises The Press for a recent series of stories about America’s “dysfunctional health care system.” Of course, if one labels the investigation as being about a “dysfunctional system,” then — golly gee — the story will be about “dysfunction.”

I have a vision of those many thousands of people, arrayed for years at our southern border, chanting, “We want bad health care, let us in! We want bad health care, open the gates!”

In truth, the United States of America has one of the best health care systems in the entire world, and most people know it. That is one of the reasons why so many people who live elsewhere try to move to our wonderful country. Private insurance works, and there’s Medicare to assist older people. States also supplement by providing Medicaid assistance.

Different plans, different programs. All designed to help people in need of assistance when sick or injured.

Getting back to Ms. Esterquest’s commentary, she writes that “most (doctors) now spend twice as much time on insurance-required drudgery” as they do with patients. Really? Three hours a day with patients and six hours per day on insurance stuff? Gimme a break! Stow the baloney!

She also mentions a difficult fact: Unfortunately, medical doctors have a fairly high rate of suicide. Those who have studied the situation cite other causes than insurance paperwork. Among them, the overall stressful nature of constantly dealing with sick people, “bad feelings” when a patient dies despite the doctor’s best efforts, and the accessibility of many pills and potions with which one can quietly end one’s life.

Depression sometimes occurs, and doctors are often reluctant to reach out for help.

Needless to say, socialized medicine won’t solve that problem.

There’s a lot wrong in Judith Esterquest’s Point of View, but I don’t want to write too much in response. She contends the New York state plan, called “New York Health,” requires no changes in actual delivery. That it would only be a change in the “financing.”

Dream on, Ms. Esterquest. If the state, or the federal government, takes over the financing (the paying function), then they will take over everything. As the old saying goes, “Whoever pays the piper, calls the tune.”

Ms. Esterquest also denigrates a person who commented in a recent letter to the editor against socialized medicine, calling her a “corporate shill.” That’s ugly language, designed to frighten folks who disapprove of socialized medicine.

My wife and I have good insurance, which we use more nowadays as we get older. Much of it is “wellness care” — checkups and the like.

Medical doctors, dentists, eye doctors, dermatologists, nurses, technicians, among others.

It’s a good system, and I resent the likes of Ms. Esterquest — and other letter writers — trying to steal my insurance coverage, and replace it with a mess of pottage.


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John J. Sweeney,