WILSON’S LOCAL PRINT AND DIGITAL COMMUNITY INSTITUTION SINCE 1896

Single-payer health care could cheapen human life’s value

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A couple of issues are very concerning to me and should be to everyone. The first is the call for Medicare for all. This would make the government the single-payer health care system in America and the cost would be astronomical. That would create many situations where the cost of a medical procedure would be determined to be too great, and the government could deny that procedure.

Previous discussions about health care, Affordable Care Act promotions, included that very scenario that the “anything to preserve life” could be only delaying the inevitable and the cost would be better spent on those who would benefit with more quality of life. Make no mistake, every procedure no matter how small or how complex, would be evaluated on cost, then benefit.

The second issue is the recent New York legislation, and the introduction of the same in Virginia, that removed any term restriction on abortion. I link these two because our family had a personal experience that highlights the danger of going down these converging paths. In our case, my wife had complications with our youngest child who was born at 33 weeks gestation and due to underdeveloped lungs was only given a 5 percent chance of survival without intervention.

That intervention was an experimental heart/lung bypass that would allow the lungs to develop and it involved a life-flight ambulance from Norfolk to George Washington University Medical Center in Washington. We chose intervention and today our child is grown, spent six years in the Navy and is currently working on a computer security degree at East Carolina University.

Had we been under single-payer, government-run health care, and if there were no restrictions on when an abortion is allowed, we may very well have had the government tell us that our child was not viable and would be allowed to die. That thought is very troubling to me and makes me scared for our future generations.

Whether you believe health care is a fundament right or not is immaterial. If we want affordable health care, we need to remove restrictions on insurance, incentivize companies to accept pre-existing conditions and allow a free-market system to drive down the cost.

As for abortion, that is a very personal decision between a woman and God. No amount of legislation will change that fact. What we need is to find a way to prevent the back-alley abortions of the past without making criminals of women who choose that path. I don’t believe in or advocate abortion, but neither to do I accept that criminalizing it makes any sense.

All life is sacred, and we must find a way to deal with this emotional subject. We need to treat all life as sacred while ensuring we do not endanger more lives by being blind to the realities that abortions will happen.

If the government wants to control something, maybe it should regulate Planned Parenthood such that contraception education and alternatives must be funded twice as much as abortions with adoption options offered and funded at least equally.

Mick Rankin

Stantonsburg

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