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A Truly Democratic National Health Plan

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New York, NY
December 16,  2002

Health Care S.O.S.

Regarding "Health Care Crisis Is Not a Misnomer" [Business, Dec. 1]: For years we've been told to trust the "free market" to care for our health. But in a system where insurance companies' profits are more valued than people, the results can be staggering: 41 million men, women and children uninsured, unable to pay for proper care when faced with an illness. The system doesn't work.

Eli Siegel, the great philosopher and founder of Aesthetic Realism, was right on target when he stated that profit-driven health care is unethical because it is based on contempt for people. Treating patients in terms of how much money can be made from them is utterly contemptible and totally contradicts what medicine is supposed to be all about.

If the next Congress wants to solve this crisis, it should formulate a truly democratic national health plan in which all citizens are insured. To continue incremental patchwork plans is tantamount to ensuring that all passengers on the Titanic have life jackets: It will not save a sinking ship.

Dr. Jaime R. Torres
Roosevelt Island

Editor's Note: The writer is on the advisory board of the National Hispanic Medical Association. 


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