Re: "Universal doesn't mean free" (Letters, July 11).

To the letter writer who is panicked that her precious taxpayer dollars may have to fund healthcare for "the 'universe' that is coming to us through our borders," simple online research will confirm what those of us who have traveled and/or lived abroad have experienced.

While all but 43 countries in the world offer universal or free healthcare, they all vary in what noncitizens are expected to pay in out-of-pocket costs ( While the writer makes her own interesting interpretation of what "universal" healthcare means, as derived from the word "universe," the reality of what Sanders and Warren advocate is more in line with the countries that offer the best healthcare systems and standards in the world, which all offer free healthcare, but none of which offer unlimited healthcare to travelers and noncitizens.

It helps to know the difference between free and universal, and not conflate the two. Free healthcare means that all citizens receive health care at no cost or a very minimal cost. Universal healthcare means there is a health care system that provides coverage to at least 90% of citizens, typically paid for by the citizens of the country via taxes. 

Economists analyze that Sanders' plan would save us taxpayers $2 trillion to $5 trillion over a decade, leaving plenty of our funds to help the "universe" coming over the border; all of this in keeping with both the Golden Rule and the World Health Organization constitution (1946), which envisages "... the highest attainable standard of health as a fundamental right of every human being.”

Clara Duff


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