The for-profit health care industry CEOs must be smiling from ear-to-ear watching the Democratic candidates destroy each other while struggling to define their messages on universal health care.

That industry is spending millions to successfully manipulate news commentaries, Congress, candidates and all of us in order to protect their financial interest without regard to the misery it causes. They have successfully distracted us from our Founders’ promise of “life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness,” none of which is possible if you don’t have good health.

The only entity with the breadth and reach to provide universal health care is the federal government. To those who cry “government overeach” or “socialism,” I will remind you of two things. First, the VA and Tricare already provide a model for universal health care. Second, the National Institutes of Health has funded most of the basic research in the development of modern drugs. However, the government has made no move to manufacture or sell them. That would be socialism.

For-profit health care is not capitalism; it is exploitation! Let health care providers thrive by competing in the marketplace based on the quality of their product.

So when you hear someone say we should keep the health insurance industry, or any for-profit health care provider, just remember to follow the money and that we can make a different choice; a choice every other western nation in the world has made. Remember: Currently, 30 percent of U.S. health care dollars buys nothing but paperwork, advertising and profits for an industry that could not care less whether you live or die.

We have the votes to stop them. Let’s unite and do it!

JEFFREY DICKLER

97 Old Jaffrey Road, Rindge