Dear Editor: A group of researchers from Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine have estimated that the burden of firearm injuries costs the USA around $45.6 billion per year. The Pacific Institute for Research & Evaluation reports that almost half of the victims of firearm injuries lack health insurance. That's a lot of uncompensated care that we all end up paying in higher medical and hospital costs.

It's easy to draw two conclusions from these facts. First, we need universal health care. Many of the victims of the Las Vegas shooter were uninsured and now face thousands in unpaid medical bills. It's obvious that even the young and healthy need health insurance.

The second conclusion is that our Wild West world of guns needs reining in. We have the highest rate of gun violence in the developed world. Every other high-income country has stricter gun regulations to prevent needless deaths. It's hard to understand why the United States cannot address problems that other similar countries have solved many years ago.

Pamela Midbon

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