|To the editor:
I am a small business owner and believe in the free market. Successes and failures of businesses can be attributed to market forces, societal trends, individual ingenuity and effort.
The healthcare system plays by other rules that nullify smarts, hard work and determination of individuals. Even though we have been "unleashing market forces" ever since health reform failed in the 90's, private insurance rates have risen 10 to 20% every year to make health insurance unaffordable for my employees and even myself. Well-intentioned small businessmen like myself, find it impossible to offer insurance coverage for their deserving employees.
My personal life has been a testament to the failing health insurance system. I have paid thousands of dollars out of pocket for medical bills even though I also pay high premiums for insurance. Also, my nephew who had insurance at the time of his auto accident had to go on Medicaid because his private insurance did not cover medical necessities once he came home from the hospital and, adding insult to his injury, he must now live in abject poverty because of the Medicaid cuts of 2005.
If health insurance is becoming unaffordable to healthy people and healthy businesses, imagine how unaffordable it is to people who become sick and disabled. A sick health care system leads to sick people and sick businesses. In the upcoming election, I'm going to support the candidates who will be the best doctor for our healthcare system.