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System questioned

July 31, 2012
The Mining Journal

To the Journal editor:

On July 1, The Mining Journal printed an op-ed written by Rep./Dr. Dan Benishek entitled "Health care law is an affront, must be changed," blaming the president and Democrats for spiraling health care costs. While Benishek brought up some good points, the libertarian philosophy he espouses is the real culprit.

Over the last several decades, Americans have grown increasingly large and unhealthy. The standard American diet heavy on meat, dairy and processed sugar (this crap tastes good) and lack of exercise (it hurts and/or takes time away from TV, computers and electronic games) have caused two-thirds of us to become overweight and one third obese.

Health care costs have skyrocketed so much to treat the greater incidence of diabetes, heart disease, cancer and other ailments resulting from these short-sighted, poor personal choices that the collective weight of these bad decisions threatens to bankrupt the country.

Many doctors, most of whose schooling included few courses in nutrition, now prescribe pills or order series of tests to manage and evaluate these afflictions because they're paid for services, not a successful outcome. Since there's greater demand for these services, medical and insurance costs have risen.

Dr. Benishek complained the price of medical insurance is high because people cannot buy this product across state lines. Changing this rule seems a reasonable way to help lower costs, so when is the congressman going to introduce a bill that repeals "the prohibition on the interstate purchase of health insurance" and work with the President to give us more choices/lower costs to fulfill our individual mandate?

Why would such a change in rules require the repeal of the Affordable Care Act, (better known as) Obamacare? I also urge Rep. Benishek to introduce legislation to limit frivolous medical malpractice lawsuits.

The medical culture/market of which Dr. Benishek was a part and profited from emphasizes treatment/management of symptoms through more prescriptions and procedures instead of addressing the core issues of poor nutrition and lack of exercise and preventative care that have allowed our collective health to deteriorate to the point we have a threat to national security.

Instead of blaming the president for costs that were skyrocketing long before he took office and introduced Obamacare, I urge Rep. Benishek to address the root cause of these issues: Poor personal choices and a free market that rewards medical services rendered and not successful outcomes.

Kevin Cupri




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