Imagine, if you will, a world where everyone contributes to an insurance plan where there are no out-of-network charges, medical denials, copays, out-of-pocket expenses and deductibles. A world where everyone is in your network and, thanks to the patriotism of your fellow Americans, you’ll never go bankrupt for seeking medical care.

Imagine a world where, once again, thanks to the funding of our fellow Americans, you’ll have comprehensive care for medical, dental, pharmaceutical, vision, hearing aids and long-term care. Imagine a world that even if you lose your job, you can keep your doctor and your health insurance.

This isn’t a partisan issue, because everyone needs health care. We all pay for public services like the police, fire departments, roads, water treatment facilities, public schools, food inspectors, medication research, the military and infrastructure. We all pay for it because we all know how essential these things are.

Therefore, it is my belief that we must come together and ensure that not one more family goes bankrupt because some shareholders on Wall Street need to make a buck off the suffering of rural families.

If this pandemic has proven anything, it is that during economic downturns our employer-driven health insurance model is extremely flawed, and puts us in a vulnerable position to lose our insurance, and may lead us to not seek health care when we need it.

RICKY BENNETT

Astoria