To the Editor:
Medicare for all, single payer (government will be single payer) and the total elimination of health insurance! At what price to the American people?
Currently, Medicare covers senior citizens and TV ads claim that it pays about 80 percent of costs, actually it payds exactly 80 percent of what Medicare declares as "reasonable." Under our current Medicare system, health insurance pays 20 percent of "reasonable" charges or more depending on the type of supplement. For example, a hospital bill of $20,000. Medicare says $15,000 is reasonable. Medicare pays $12,000, supplement pays $3,000, you owe $5,000. You can buy supplements that will pay the $3,000 and some or all of the $5,000, they will cost more.
Bernie Sanders has outlined his program, which will cap health care costs at 11 percent of the U.S. gross national product. Today, health care is 18 percent of GDP. The only way you can reduce something from 18 percent to 11 percent is to slow the number of people seeking health care, and you do that with waiting lines. Canadians, with their health care program, when faced with a waiting line problem, if they have ample money, they come to the U.S. to get their health care problem resolved. Where would we go?
An additional feature of Sanders' program is he wants to cap doctor's income. How many potential doctors would seek other means of making a living, and how many med students would go into other fields? The shortage of doctors in the U.S. is projected to be 126,000 by the year 2030.
Our health care system needs some changes. Options would help, such as being able to buy a rider to cover specific things like treatment of alcohol or drug addiction. That way only those with needs for the coverage would pay for them, saving money for the rest of us.