LETTER Imagine a single-payer system

August 12, 2017

The news is filled with the ongoing saga of the Affordable Care Act. We have seen lawmakers unable to reach an accord on providing a sustainable program for addressing health care in America. Elected officials are so focused on pointing fingers and preserving their positions that they are unable to work together to find a reasonable solution.

I have come to believe the problem is systemic, and also an issue of competence. Elected officials do not understand the health care industry, and they are looking at the issue from the wrong perspective. Perhaps there is another way to address the issue.

Imagine a nationalized health care system.

Think about what that would mean for the country. Medicare, Medicaid, premiums, co-pays, deductibles and out-of-pocket maximums would be eliminated. The cost of medications would be controlled, there would be no billing for services, and it would provide universal coverage for all citizens.

Paying for this type of system is a question for others to answer, but my model would be supported by taxes and the savings generated by the elimination of governmental agencies. The state would monitor it for quality and service. Many of the employees working for insurance providers would be able to fill positions supporting this approach.

Of course, this scenario is strictly fiction, because we all know this approach would be discarded. The ramifications are so far-reaching that opponents would prevail – just like they did when Social Security was created in 1935.

Tom Robertson

Washington

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