To the editor:
Many people think that the status quo in health care is sustainable. They are wrong.
Per capita health care costs in the United States rose to over $8,000 in 2009, and at their present rate of increase will surpass $16,000 by 2019.
Without the passage of comprehensive health care reform, the number of uninsured, inflation, unemployment rates, bankruptcy rates, taxes, trade deficits, and budget deficits will all be increasingly higher than they would otherwise be.
We have the most expensive health care in the world, with per capita costs that are at least double that of any other country, and yet we live shorter, sicker lives: our infant mortality rate is higher, our life span lower, and we experience many more years of severe chronic debilitating illness than is the case in the the vast majority of advanced industrial countries.
Congress must pass comprehensive health care reform now so that millions of jobs and hundreds of billions of dollars in taxes will be saved, so that millions of personal bankruptcies be prevented, and so that we and our children and grandchildren may be able to live longer, healthier lives.
Fall River, Mass.