Sick­en­ing stats

Re “Se­nate’s health­care plan makes deep cuts,” June 23

Los Angeles Times - - OPINION -

I’m a doc­tor, and I’m sick and tired. Over the last six years, I have taught a course at the David Gef­fen UCLA School of Medicine. Dur­ing one of the mod­ules of the course, the stu­dents present dif­fer­ent coun­tries’ med­i­cal sys­tems and com­pare them to that of the United States. Ev­ery year we stare across the table at each other as the numbers come out. In­fant mor­tal­ity? We lag behind Slo­vakia. Life ex­pectancy? Ev­ery other first-world coun­try (and Slove­nia) does better while spend­ing much less on health­care per capita. So it seems pretty ob­vi­ous, my stu­dents say year af­ter year, that gov­ern­ment man­aged, sin­gle-payer health­care per­forms better. Yes, I say, but the political will is just not there yet.

This is the first year I hope to have a dif­fer­ent an­swer for my stu­dents, even though the fed­eral gov­ern­ment ap­pears to be go­ing in the wrong di­rec­tion on health­care. I hope Gov. Jerry Brown sup­ports the Healthy Cal­i­for­nia Act and allows Cal­i­for­nia to chart the path to a better health­care sys­tem and be­come a model for the rest of the nation. Alexan­der Rivkin, MD, Los Angeles

Jacquelyn Martin Associated Press

SE­NATE MA­JOR­ITY Leader Mitch McCon­nell leaves a GOP health­care meet­ing Thursday on Capi­tol Hill.

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