Letters to the Editor

Single-payer is the Rx

Initially, Republicans killed Obamacare’s public option, which might have led to national single-payer health care. Throughout, they’ve relentlessly pursued their self-fulfilling prophecy that all Obamacare shall fail. Perhaps we should reconsider single-payer, even though Obamacare still contains very significant improvements over the present system at somewhat lower cost (nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office analysis).

Canadian single-payer universal health care costs only 60 percent of the present U.S. system, with better results (life expectancy, infant mortality, etc.). Despite misleading ads by U.S. insurance companies, the Canadian system is also very popular. The evidence? When May 2011 elections gave Conservative Prime Minister Stephen Harper a conservative Parliamentary majority, guaranteeing passage of any conservative legislation, he quickly assured Canadians of no change in their single-payer system.

Moreover, the late Tommy Douglas, a former Baptist minister who introduced the single-payer system in the 1960s, was accordingly voted all-time greatest Canadian in a 2004 Canadian Broadcasting Corporation survey.

University of Toronto researchers said the U.S. could save $27.6 billion yearly by adopting Canada’s single-payer system (National Journal, Nov. 4, 2011). A 2008 survey showed U.S. doctors supported a single-payer system by almost two to one – 59 percent to 32 percent (Reuters, Nov. 3, 2008).

So let’s extend the popular Medicare to everyone.

Norm Luther

Spokane



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