We are the only industrialized nation without full health coverage for its citizens. Other nations handle health care with either socialized, subsidized or not-for-profit plans, and they all spend far less than the U.S.

While the Affordable Care Act (ACA) has several flaws, it moved us toward full coverage. However, it did not address the problem of the middle-man. The original insurance industry was not-for-profit, but somehow this was scrapped for the profit-driven system we have now, in which the insurance industry adds between 20 and 30 percent to the cost of health care, and that does not count the pharmacological industry.

If these two systems were regulated, we would save millions of dollars. According to American’s Health Insurance Plans (AHIP), insurance companies pay about 18 percent of every dollar in overhead and have a 2.7 percent profit margin. In comparison, Medicare spends 6.4 percent in overhead and has no profit.

The new proposed health care plan does not address these issues. In fact, it lifts the limits on what insurance companies can deduct from their taxes for executive pay packages, and removes the mandate for mental health care and other services.

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I encourage everyone to become educated about these issues and call their lawmakers.

Lori McCollum

Rock Island