Creating a reasonable health care system is just a matter of priorities

In his Tuesday letter to the Review-Journal, Walter Wegst concludes that health care for everyone must be provided by drastically increasing government subsidies. But that, in essence, is what Obamacare tries to do, and it is unaffordable.

If our politicians could do third-grade math, they could figure out ways to cut spending elsewhere to pay for increased health care coverage. For starters, tobacco-related health care now costs more than $300 billion a year. That is a major chunk of the pre-existing condition expense problem. It would disappear (admittedly gradually) if tobacco were banned. Other toxic substances were banned long ago, so why do our politicians continue to give the tobacco companies a pass?

Revising welfare to discourage single mothers from having large families (as Lyndon Johnson originally recognized) would reduce the number of people needing health care. And we should take some hard looks at whether government programs such as the manned space program ($19 billion a year) and subsidies for solar power generation and other special interests can still be justified.

The problem is not a humanitarian one. It’s choosing where to spend limited funds.

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