Supporters of single-payer health care march to the Capitol, Wednesday, April 26, 2017, in Sacramento, Calif. On Monday, Jan. 31, 2022, California Democrats face a deadline to advance a bill that would create a government-funded universal health care system. The proposal has the support of some Democratic leaders and powerful labor union, but it faces strong opposition from business groups who say it would cost too much. Credit: Rich Pedroncelli / AP

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The question arises as to why the United States, unlike other developed countries, stands alone in not providing universal health coverage to its citizens? The U.S. spends roughly double on health care than the rest of the developed world. And yet we have a lower life expectancy than almost all other developed nations.

One reason, of course, is taxes paid by the wealthiest 1 percent of Americans are routinely cut by Republican Party legislators. The GOP also opposes adding 87,000 IRS agents to scrutinize tax returns by wealthy citizens and corporations.

Coupled with corporate tax giveaways, we need only look at our bloated annual defense/war budget of $795 billion. Similarly, the Governmental Accountability Office estimates the Pentagon is missing $220 billion in equipment given to defense contractors. Dwight Eisenhower warned Americans about the military industrial complex: “Every gun that is made, every warship launched, every rocket fired signifies, in the final sense, a theft from those who hunger and are not fed.”

James L. McDonald