Readers respond: Health care is not a commodity
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Readers respond: Health care is not a commodity

Jul 25, 2023

A recent Oregonian article about the merger of Oregon Health & Science University and Legacy Health started with a statement about reshaping the “health care market,” (“OHSU to merge with struggling Legacy Health,” Aug. 16). Somehow the people of this country have been brainwashed to think in these terms. Health care should be considered a right for all people, and not a market for only those who can afford it. Every other developed nation treats health care as a right so that everyone is entitled to care, not just those who have the resources to purchase it.

Treating health care as a commodity to be sold adds huge layers of cost. Advertising, billing, approving or rejecting claims and a profit margin add nearly 20% to the cost of health care in the U.S. Ballot Measure 111 in 2022 amended the Oregon Constitution to make health care a right. The media and the public need to start characterizing health care accordingly and work toward eliminating the mindset of health care as a commodity.

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