Most health care articles address what we pay (as consumers) for health care not aggregate health care costs. We know most Americans have coverage, but what they pay, as premiums, deductibles and copays, has increased significantly.
While figures vary, the U.S. health care system’s annual cost is about $3.3 trillion or $10,200 per capita. About 60% of this goes to doctors and hospitals. Some also goes to drug companies, medical device manufacturers, insurers and for taxes. A promise of lower individual payments sounds pleasing but is insufficient. If we simply shift costs from ourselves to others, such as other insurance purchasers, taxpayers or future generations in the form of deficits, we perpetuate the problem.
Other countries spend far less per capita. France, Canada and Australia are reported to spend less than $5,000 per capita. Switzerland and Germany are about $8,000 and $5,700, respectively.
If we can reduce our national health care spending, we could provide health care for all and still reduce what we pay individually. When we are told we should have more private insurance, Medicare for all, or a single national system, we must ask how this will reduce per-cap costs and improve our health.
Steven Kahn, Boise
I would be proud right now if the Republicans in our state would put our people and our country first on their agenda. Trump is acting like a spoiled child. Do you think Putin is proud of him now? Trump is causing hate in our country. Is this what a president is suppose to do? I wonder if his family is still getting paid.
We have lost respect all over the world. Rules need to be kept. You know, like handing over the tax returns before they are allowed to run for the position. Why does Trump think other people work at the White House? He never discusses anything with anyone else. Mitch McConnell is helping Trump. Congress has forgotten the people of this country. Party first.
We older people have lived through better, we know better and we are scared. Trump is so sick.
Judy Knight, Boise
Using an old movie line, “I’m mad as hell and I’m not going to take it anymore.” I’m not mad at the denizen of White House. He long ago revealed his true colors. It’s disgust I feel.
I’m mad at GOP members of Congress – both Senate and House. I’ve lived under 14 presidents. Never before have we seen such a sorry bunch as now serve under the Capitol dome. There isn’t enough spine in any of them to stand erect unaided. In the Senate, Mitch McConnell has sold his soul to become wealthy at taxpayer expense. He clearly cares nothing about the country or the Constitution he’s sworn to serve. The rest of the GOP sycophants in the Senate should buy case lots of lip balm for all the kissing they’ve done of a certain posterior.
The House isn’t much better. Case in point – on the 13th and 14th of July, a Twitter storm of racist rhetoric explodes from the White House. Only four members of the GOP had the intestinal fortitude to vote in favor of censuring Trump on this obscene behavior.
This congressional kakistocracy of ineptitude and spinelessness must end. Sen. John McCain is spinning in his grave.
Gil Beyer, Sandpoint
I would like to congratulate Boise upon the completion of Phase 2 of the whitewater park and ask if there are any plans to continue the same style of development west along the river to Veterans Memorial Parkway. I hope not. Anyone who has traveled along the Greenbelt knows this area is wooded and beautiful, reminding one perhaps of what the City of Trees looked like before it was a city. While upgrades to the pathway would be welcome, the “park-ifying” of this area would be a tragedy and loss. Boise has shown that it can preserve spaces like this for future generations. The area west of Quinn’s Pond and Phase 2 of the whitewater park represents an opportunity to do this again, even as the city continues to gobble up farmland and desert elsewhere.
Let’s make the effort.
Rick Hobson, Boise
Ada County taxes
In the past few weeks, I have heard so many complaints about Ada County tax commissioners taking money in forgone taxes for improvements to county facilities. To set the record straight, this money should have been collected by former board members, who decided that it was more important to ignore their statutory obligations and kick the can down the road rather than raise property taxes by up to 3% (as they are allowed to do). As a result, the years of not taking the 3% cost the county approximately $102 million, with an additional $50 million in deferred maintenance costs and possible lawsuits. This is outrageous. It was very poor planning by some previous board members with obviously no accountability. I applaud Ada County Commissioners Diana Lachiondo and Kendra Kenyon for cleaning up this mess they inherited.
Cay Marquart, Boise