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Reader: The difference between healthcare and wealthcare

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Which do you value more: human life or corporate profit? If you have a cancer diagnosis, where would you rather be, the USA, or Australia?

This past week, my brother was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer. He lives in Australia, where they have universal health care. He was immediately (same day) admitted to the hospital to work up his condition, and seven days later has already had life-saving surgery with follow-up treatment guaranteed. His medical team is world-class. He has no fear of losing his home or leaving his family destitute. His providers need only think about what care is best for him. They do not have to fight with insurance companies every step of the way.

In contrast, an American friend has a family member with cancer. They are struggling to get him care. The insurance company decides what care he gets, and where he has to get it, and then limits reimbursement, leaving the family with huge out-of-pocket costs. In addition to fighting a life-threatening disease, they are faced with a devastating financial disaster.

In Australia, they choose HEALTHcare for all citizens over profit. In America, WEALTHcare protects the profits of the insurance industry.

Australians have shown their moral fiber. And so have American lawmakers.

— Madeleine Jacobs, M.D., retired, Florence

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