Single-Payer Health Care Is Doable

June 12, 2017

The Opinion Pages | Letters

Single-Payer Health Care Is Doable

JUNE 12, 2017

To the Editor:

You call single-payer a “government takeover of health care.” Later in the article, single-payer is referred to as that old canard “socialized medicine.”

Single-payer is simply where the government sets the price and the range of reimbursable procedures because it is the sole insurance provider — in other words, Medicare for all.

Medicare is extremely popular, and for good cause. It is administratively easy for both doctors and patients, the fees are reasonable, and access to doctors is straightforward.

And by the way, we do have a form of socialized medicine in this country; it’s called the V.A.


To the Editor:

Americans will consider single-payer health care when proponents start thinking like marketers.

People don’t “buy” features; they buy benefits. Single-payer emphasizes a feature. Now the conversation is about the complexities of public financing, spiraling down into a discussion of taxes. Now you’re playing defense.

In contrast, start with “Medicare for all,” and you’re talking about benefits. Republican and Democratic Medicare recipients are with you. You’ve got a cohort of fans who happen to be the most likely voters.

Medicare for all eliminates lifetime limits, pre-existing conditions and private insurers’ interference in decisions about your medical care. It leverages the purchasing power of 325 million Americans to buy health care services at lower prices.

Medicare is privately delivered health care. Private doctors and hospitals simply bill a single government body instead of myriad insurance companies. Benefits for you, benefits for your doctor. You have more choice, because every provider is “in network.”

“Medicare for all” eliminates the middlemen: the profit-driven insurance bureaucracies that contribute nothing to our country’s health except higher costs.

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Put the focus where it belongs: on benefits.


To the Editor:

The New York State Assembly passed a universal, single-payer health care plan last month by a vote of 94 to 46, and it has 31 co-sponsors in the 63-member Senate (New York Health Act S. 4840/A. 4738).

You say single-payer has a slim chance of passing “only in California.” But the only thing stopping it in New York is convincing one more senator and getting it through the obstructionist Senate leadership.

Public outcry might well accomplish this. The time is now, as the Legislature meets for only two more weeks this year.




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