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Letter: Follow the health care money

We're No. 1. Among all of the developed nations of the world, the United States health care system is undoubtedly No. 1 on a long list of measures.

We're No. 1 in the per capita health care costs. The others aren't even close. We're No. 1 in not covering people for the cost of health care. About 50 million Americans have no health insurance. No other developed nation would allow such an immoral system. We're No. 1 in the portion of health care spending that goes to pay for drugs that are identical to those sold in other countries at much lower prices. The list goes on.

We're not No. 1 among the developed nations of the world where it really matters, in life expectancy, in infant mortality prevention, or in preventing chronic illness. The American health care system kills people who would have survived in any other developed country.

Any reform will fail unless all costs are controlled. So, how do you control costs? Follow the money.

About 30 percent of every health care dollar goes to people who do not provide any medical services. They include the armies of people in hospitals and clinics needed to bill insurance companies for each item of medical service, and armies of people at the insurance company end trying to avoid paying for those services. Your health care dollars are at work paying exorbitant salaries to insurance company executives, paying for their mighty office buildings, and for their profits. No other country allows such a high level of parasitism of health care dollars by those who provide no health care.

Those who benefit from the brokenness of our current system understand that they will be losers in any genuine health care reform. Those wasted dollars don't evaporate. They go into pockets. Those who would lose from genuine health care reform are now pouring your health care dollars into a massive campaign of disinformation to try to block it.

Don't be fooled again. Follow the money.

John H. Burns