The Norman Transcript

December 22, 2013

Oklahoma health ranking is shameful


The Norman Transcript

NORMAN — Editor, The Transcript:

It is criminal that opponents of PPACA (Obamacare) don’t want those that can’t afford health insurance to have it.

Egderto Willies, a writer and commentator, has discussed this issue in his recent article titled, “When does lying about Obamacare become immoral and evil?” PPACA will help reduce suffering and early death and even Gen. Colin Powell, a Republican who served our country honorably, calls for universal health care and says it can be Obamacare or a successor.

One lady made a comment on the Internet that her husband died of a heart attack after they were not able to pay for heart surgery recommended four years earlier. A bill for $6,000, to try to resuscitate her husband, was added to her and two children’s burden.

Another person, commenting on a letter I had published, had a high co-pay, very expensive limited coverage policy she had to buy because of a child’s pre-existing condition and it did not cover her cancer surgery costs. Later it was canceled because she now had a pre-existing condition.

Many people without health care insurance decided to go in debt for medical care anyway and later declared bankruptcy. Critics of affordable health care simply either have not been in these situations or had any family and friends with these problems.

Harvard researchers estimate 45,000 deaths a year in our country because of lack of health insurance. Most modern European countries provide all citizens with health coverage, at no charge, and life expectancy is much higher.

Modern European countries, in addition to providing better health support for their citizens, also have less poverty than we in this country. The children living in poverty in Oklahoma, as reported by The Norman Transcript, increased this year from 21 to 27 percent over last year.

Our governor, in refusing to accept the Medicaid expansion, caused more of our state citizens to continue to suffer. I am a disabled Korean War combat veteran and I am also concerned about our veterans and their families because this will affect many of them. We should be ashamed that we allowed Oklahoma’s public health ranking go down to 44th this year.

EDWARD V. HARRIS

Hugo

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