‘Free’ health care isn’t free

In response to "A lesson in health care" (letter, Aug. 20), I take objection to one of the points the author makes.

Referring to the treatment of his prematurely born son at a British hospital, the author commented that, "The final bill to us was nothing!" Unfortunately, many Americans share this view. As long as people don’t have to pay anything directly to the hospital, then the procedure is "free" or "no cost to me."

What these people miss is that in a nationalized health care program, their tax dollars are being used to pay their doctors’ fees, or worse, someone else’s tax dollars are being used to pay their doctors’ fees. This "no-cost-to-me" attitude is selfish because it is a cost to someone and, if you are the one receiving the treatment, you should be the one responsible for covering the cost.

As far as I am concerned, the British can keep their second-rate, "no-cost-to-me" nationalized health care. I don’t want any part of it.

Yes, I am currently enrolled in government-funded health care as a member of the military. However, by this time next year I will once again be a private citizen. As a private citizen, I will pay for private health insurance and that’s the way I want it. I want it that way because I feel personally responsible to provide for my family. Sadly, this feeling of personal responsibility bestowed on me by my parents is lost on many Americans.

First Lt. Shane A. BladenCamp Leatherneck, Afghanistan

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