Sin­gle-payer self­less­ness

Los Angeles Times - - OPINION -

Re “What is this thing called sin­gle payer?” June 4

I don’t stand to per­son­ally gain from the sin­gle­payer health­care sys­tem, but I find my­self strongly sup­port­ing the idea.

I have health in­sur­ance pro­vided by my em­ployer, and I would stand to pay much more than I cur­rently do for my fam­ily’s health­care (via new taxes). I am also a fis­cally con­ser­va­tive mod­er­ate who loves our coun­try’s cap­i­tal­ist econ­omy.

But as I con­tem­plate how this af­fects my re­tired par­ents, my in-laws, my sib­lings and their fam­i­lies, and when I con­sider the time and re­sources it takes to nav­i­gate our present in­sur­ance sys­tem, I am struck by how bur­den­some health­care is right now. Ev­ery health­care choice we make has a fi­nan­cial con­sid­er­a­tion, and that does not re­flect the spirit of med­i­cal care.

Adopt­ing a sin­gle-payer sys­tem might neg­a­tively af­fect my taxes and in­come in the short term, but the long-term ben­e­fit of more equal, bet­ter care for all Cal­i­for­ni­ans over­rides that.

One day, my fam­ily and I may not be in the same po­si­tion with the same ben­e­fits and re­sources, and in that sit­u­a­tion I would cer­tainly ap­pre­ci­ate the per­spec­tive of oth­ers who think about the ben­e­fit to ev­ery­one un­der a sin­gle-payer sys­tem. Brian Kawasaki

Granada Hills

As a Medi­care re­cip­i­ent, I will be one of the first to par­tic­i­pate in a clas­s­ac­tion suit against Cal­i­for­nia if it at­tempts to usurp my fed­eral ben­e­fits. I did not pay into Medi­care for so many years to let the state — which al­ready can­not ad­e­quately man­age its roads or re­tire­ment sys­tems — take over my health­care.

I en­joy my cur­rent Medi­care ben­e­fits, and the use of a sup­ple­ment pol­icy of­fers me the abil­ity to con­trol my health­care. What the state is aim­ing for is a gi­ant HMO to take over our health­care, to which I say no thanks. Bill Anderson

Glen­dora ::

Be­cause of their sin­gle­payer sys­tem, Cana­di­ans have a higher per-capita tax bur­den than we have in the United States. This, of course, does not in­clude our per-capita health­care costs. The ma­jor dif­fer­ence is that ev­ery Cana­dian has health cov­er­age.

The United King­dom does not have a strict sin­gle-payer sys­tem. There are pri­vate doc­tors there who do not par­tic­i­pate in the Na­tional Health Ser­vice, and there are pri­vate health in­sur­ance com­pa­nies that will cover treat­ments by such doc­tors.

How­ever, com­pe­ti­tion by the Na­tional Health Ser­vice re­sults in costs be­ing con­trolled. When pri­vate doc­tors in­crease their fees or in­sur­ance com­pa­nies in­crease their pre­mi­ums, pa­tients can al­ways switch to the Na­tional Health Ser­vice. David E. Ross

Oak Park

Cal­i­for­nia’s an­nual bud­get is about $170 bil­lion. The un­funded pen­sion costs guar­an­teed by the tax­pay­ers stands at around $240 bil­lion. Now we are told the es­ti­mated cost of a sin­gle-payer health­care sys­tem will be be­tween $300 bil­lion and $400 bil­lion.

The pre­req­ui­sites for get­ting this one-payer cov­er­age are lit­er­ally a blank check for any­one who can fog a mir­ror. Then there is the small mat­ter on how it will be paid for. The in­for­ma­tion pro­vided so far on how to pay for such a sys­tem ap­pears to be smoke and mir­rors. Clearly, a fi­nanc­ing plan does not ex­ist.

There is no rea­son to have a vote on whether Cal­i­for­nia should se­cede from the United States, as Sacra­mento has taken or will take enough ac­tion to make the sep­a­ra­tion a fait ac­com­pli. The rev­enue base in Cal­i­for­nia will di­min­ish sub­stan­tially if this fool­ish­ness ever comes to pass. Don Black

Ran­cho Pa­los Verdes

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