Medi­care for all

Modern Healthcare - - OPINIONS LETTERS -

As­sum­ing it is not over­turned by a very highly politi­cized Supreme Court (“In the bal­ance,” April 2, p. 6), mil­lions of the unin­sured will even­tu­ally re­ceive cov­er­age un­der the Pa­tient Pro­tec­tion and Af­ford­able Care Act. It is a first step. But the re­forms did not go nearly far enough in cost con­tain­ment. Or, we be­lieve, in cov­er­age. We are build­ing on a shaky foun­da­tion: ex­pan­sion of pri­vate in­sur­ance com­pa­nies.

Po­lit­i­cal op­po­nents warn that the ACA’S health­care re­forms will re­sult in ra­tioning.

Along these lines, the or­ga­ni­za­tion Physi­cians for a Na­tional Health Pro­gram has de­ter­mined that the most cost-ef­fec­tive route is Medi­care for all. Medi­care’s ad­min­is­tra­tive costs are 3%, whereas pri­vate in­sur­ance runs 31%. The ad­di­tional funds could be uti­lized to cover the unin­sured.

Yes, there are some wait­ing lines in Canada for elec­tive pro­ce­dures, but Canada spends about half what we do per capita on health­care. With our cur­rent spend­ing level, we need not have lines here. In any case, un­der univer­sal Medi­care, any ra­tioning that might some­day be re­quired would be based on med­i­cal need as de­ter­mined by your physi­cian, not by in­sur­ance com­pa­nies.

The only way to get a han­dle on both costs and ac­cess is univer­sal Medi­care. That is the so­lu­tion, not pri­va­ti­za­tion and plac­ing the bur­den di­rectly on a pow­er­less con­sumer/pa­tient with lit­tle in­for­ma­tion and even less clout rel­a­tive to providers. Be­cause of the meek­ness shown by Congress in its re­form ef­forts, we sus­pect that the sit­u­a­tion will be much worse in an­other 15 or 20 years when it is next ad­dressed by our chil­dren.

Jack Bernard Re­tired health­care ex­ec­u­tive

Mon­ti­cello, Ga.

Evan Weis­man Re­tired car­di­ol­o­gist

At­lanta com­pa­nies be­cause they hire peo­ple from an­other coun­try to man­age your ac­count. Is there any­thing wrong with this picture? Cathy Whitaker

Frank­fort, Ky.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from USA

© PressReader. All rights reserved.