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Web Letters | The Nation

Web Letter

Perhaps the best deal for the public would be bankruptcy and renegotiation of all debts and obligations. There is too much "welfare for the rich." Detroit needs to get into a fair, competitive position, and remember that their competition is overwhelmingly produced and manufactured in America also, by US workers.

John D. Froelich

Upper Darby, PA

Nov 13 2008 - 4:24am

Web Letter

The best way to rescue the Big Three is single-payer health insurance (HR-676). Lowering the cost structure at GM, Ford and Daimler-Chrysler by passing national health insurance would enable them to attract new capital from private investors. Don't believe me? Just read the letter their own executives wrote on behalf of national health insurance, in Canada, read by Jim McDermott into the House record:

The public health care system significantly reduces total labour costs for automobile manufacturing firms, compared to the cost of equivalent private insurance services purchased by U.S.-based automakers; these health insurance savings can amount to several dollars per hour of labour worked. Publicly funded health care thus accounts for a significant portion of Canada's overall labour cost advantage in auto assembly, versus the U.S., which in turn has been a significant factor in maintaining and attracting new auto investment to Canada. [My emphasis on the word "equivalent."]

The side benefit of this kind of bailout is it bails out the rest of us! The Institute of Medicine estimated that every two months inadequate health insurance kills as many Americans as were killed in the World Trade Center on September 11, 2001.

Half of all personal bankruptcies are due to medical bills.

Finally, our for-profit health insurance system is the leading cause of the waste of more than $1 trillion per year, since half of all American healthcare spending is wasted.

Rarely has there been such a fantastic opportunity to save millions of jobs, save thousands of lives, and save money at the same time! It should be a no-brainer, for a smart man like Obama.

Myles Sussman

San Francisco, CA

Nov 11 2008 - 5:18pm