The Seattle Times published David McLanahan's Letter to the Editor (LTE) last weekend in response to the tragic news about the apparent murder-suicide of an elderly couple in Ferndale, WA who could no longer afford their medical expenses. David represents Physicians for a National Plan-WW (PNHP-WW) on the HCHR-WA Steering Committee.
Dashing off a letter to the editor in response to a news story is an effective way to highlight that expanded and improved Medicare for All is the cure to our health care crisis to a wider audience. New to writing LTEs? Check out this guide from the League of Women Voters.
A cure for our dysfunctional health-care system
By Letters editor
The Seattle Times
Re: “Murder-suicide is suspected in pair’s deaths” [Aug. 11, B7]:
The news of the elderly couple’s death is another in the litany of tragedies inflicted upon American families by our dysfunctional health-care system.
As the article points out, current Medicare and Medicaid cover only 65% of medical expenses. As well as bearing the discomfort of illness, elderly people face deductibles, co-pays, high-cost medications, other out-of-pocket expenses, and oppressive insurance paperwork. They often face the prospect of going bankrupt, losing their life savings, if any, and the prospect of asking family members and friends to help out. We all can understand this couple’s resolution.
The tragic decision facing this family would likely have been averted if they were covered by Improved Medicare for All, such as embodied in Rep. Pramila Jayapal’s H.R. 1384. This legislation would enable all of us to receive the health care we need from birth without any financial worries.
It’s time for all of our representatives — national, state, and local — to follow the lead of their constituents to join us in supporting justice in health care.
David McLanahan, M.D., Seattle
Link to HR 1384 explainer added for your reference.