LETTER: New York Health Act an effort to save lives, The Rev. Andrea Abbott, Watertown Daily Times

by The Rev. Andrea Abbott, Sept 8, 2018

With the huge profits the system generates for a small group of people, it’s not surprising some want to maintain the status quo. But doctors and hospitals know better: Richard Duvall, CEO of non-profit Carthage Hospital, says, “Everyone recognizes the current system isn’t working.”

As minister to a rural, upstate congregation, too often I see medical crises harm families. Many of my parishioners cannot find work that gives them insurance, instead balancing multiple part-time jobs or independent contracting — working hard, but constantly worried that an expensive illness or accident will topple them into homelessness.

Refusing to propel their family into financial ruin, one parishioner planned suicide. We found help, but I remain haunted by the specter of uncounted others who act before voicing their financial and moral despair.

Any society that rations health care based on income, monetizes life and death, is morally destitute and diminishes us all.

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