In health care, need is trumped by profit

By Laura Berger
Wisconsin State Journal, Letters, Jan. 17, 2014

I was surprised and pleased to see the large ad in Wednesday's State Journal by the Tri-County Medical Society, including Barron, Burnett and Washburn counties, about the high cost of medical care in the United States. We need more voices about health care from rural areas.

I agree that reading Time magazine writer Steven Brill's March 2013 piece "Bitter Pill" will show our need to shift discussion from "how do we pay for health care" to "'why is it so expensive?"

The Wisconsin Physicians for a National Health Care Program has launched a petition to state government officials urging uniform, transparent and affordable pricing for all health care services (see

What is undermining health care is not government, but corporate profits and inefficiencies. Instead of government's impossible and complex attempts to walk a line between public need and corporate profit, let's acknowledge there's another way.

An elegant and simple solution to achieving affordable health care for all can be found in Canada and in U.S. House Resolution 676. Call it expansion of Medicare or single payer -- that is how we get there.

Laura Berger is a public health nurse in Madison and Dane County.