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Letter: Congress must ensure that all have health care

Congress must ensure that all have health care

The most recent World Health Organization rankings of national health care place the United States in at least the mid 30s, behind at least a dozen European allies and, slightly, Canada. An additional sign of inefficiency is that we are No. 1 in per capita expenditure. Basically, less bang for our buck.

For context, recent congressional approval ratings range from mid 20s down to mid teen percentages. The incoming Congress is champing at the bit to repeal the Affordable Care Act, but with no well-defined replacement plan, after almost seven years of opposition. An analogy might be conjectured of an eager demolition crew arriving at a building housing 100 people (or 30 million now covered Americans), and upon being asked, “Where will we live?” responding, “We’ll figure that out later, but it will be someplace terrific.”

Some glimmer of optimism can be seen in Republican and Democratic Congress members who realize this is not a rational approach. This welcome understanding is backed by the recent report by the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office, headed by Keith Hall, appointed by Republicans in 2015.

No doubt Congress members have good health care. Their responsibility is to the citizens who pay for it. One of the defining traits of any government is how well it cares for its people. The health and well being of all Americans should be a priority of our representatives. Congress, in full, must work together to ensure this.

Jeffrey Rapp


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