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Kay Ziegahn: Politicians must listen to constituents on health care costs

As a student in France, my medical coverage was completely covered through French Social Security. Later when visiting relatives in Australia, our toddler was treated cost free at a Sydney hospital. When we asked about the cost there, they said, “We know how bad it is in the USA, here it’s all covered.” 

This leads to the questions: Why is it so different here, and in which other advanced countries, where government does control medical costs, do people lose their homes or go bankrupt because of medical costs? Nowhere!

We’ve seen many TV ads lately warning us that if our government controls medical costs, we will lose access to treatments and will experience delays “like Canada.” If that is so, why do busloads of Americans go north to buy prescription drugs they can’t afford here? Other ads lie about government wanting to raise drug prices.

President Biden wants to lower our medical costs, and pass legislation to make expensive drugs like insulin affordable for all who need them. However, legislators who receive campaign donations from the pharmaceutical companies that pay for those ads, refuse to cooperate. Those same companies spend roughly $10.5 billion annually on such advertising and campaign donations to some of those legislators.

Our laws allow pharmaceutical firms to make obscene profits, supposedly deserved, due to their investment in research. Then they cling to their patents and tax exemptions, avoiding competition from generics for years beyond what is justified. Truth is, much of that research is covered by work done through grants to universities, and our taxes that support them.

Politicians need to listen to us, their constituents, and not be swayed by pharmaceutical companies. Tell them you want the laws changed, so we can all enjoy what other advanced nations have. Whom do you believe? Greedy drug companies or our struggling neighbors?

Kay Ziegahn

Richland Center

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