Generally I don’t quote Richard Nixon, but please consider what he said in 1974: “Without adequate health care, no one can make full use of his or her talents and opportunities. It is thus just as important that economic, racial and social barriers not stand in the way of good health care as it is to eliminate those barriers to a good education and a good job.”

Please also consider this: The United States spent $3.6 trillion in 2018 on health care — office visits, hospital stays, skilled nursing care, medications and dental work. Health-insurance companies paid only 34% of this cost, according to the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services. The rest was covered by government, individuals and care providers.

The $3.6 trillion in expenses did not include the portion of insurance premiums and drug purchases that paid for marketing, administrative and overhead expenses, excessive executive compensation and company profits. That totaled $1.1 trillion and brought national health-related costs to $4.7 trillion.

Yet, 28 million people were not insured. Another 60 million adults were underinsured (whereby they spent 10% or more of their income or 5% if poor, excluding premiums, on out-of pocket expenses), according to the Commonwealth Fund. This is wrong.

It was the radical Tea-Party faction of the Republican Party that made Medicare for All seem “extreme.”

A caring, civilized society does not allow medical barriers to stand in the way of individuals’ freedom and ability to be productive members of society. It considers everyone.