I agree wholeheartedly with Dick Sumpter (3/15, Letters, “Obama’s ‘cure’ has vision”). We need “systems thinking” to find a cure for our economy.
Recently I attended a health-care conference at Johnson County Community College. The three speakers emphasized that the health-care crisis is inextricably embedded in the economic crisis. If you lose your job, and your health insurance, and get sick, you are likely to default on your mortgage payments and then to go bankrupt.
Uncompensated care, that is, care given in emergency rooms to people without insurance, costs billions of dollars annually. Of course, the insured actually pay for this, which is one reason health-care costs are soaring.
Compare this crisis to someone going into shock. The health-care provider can’t say, “I’ll just stop the hemorrhaging now and treat the kidney failure later.” No! It’s all at once or not at all.
Judith L. Zillner