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Opinion >  Letters

Single-payer is healthier

In her usual annoying way, Sue Lani Madsen wades into the health care issue, painting only a partial picture (Aug. 13 column). She cherry picks imperfections of Canadian health care and asserts that a single-payer health system isn’t right for the U.S.

Okay. Nobody has a perfect health care system. But here’s the big picture that Madsen conveniently avoids:

Canadian costs? Single-payer health care per capita in Canada costs about 30 percent to to 40 percent less than health care per capita in the U.S.

Results? Canadians live longer than Americans and have a lower rate of infant mortality.

Customer satisfaction? The vast majority of Canadians are very satisfied with their single-payer health care system.

What do others do? All other countries in the developed world have single-payer systems.

How come we don’t? Maybe because the insurance industry middleman is running our system, turning health care into a brokered commodity - and siphoning off whatever profits it can leverage out of the “free market.” This might be a good system for other free market commodities like oil or diamonds. But not for public health.

What’s wrong with cutting out the middleman and saving $300 billion to $500 billion per year - and putting U.S. health care costs in line with the rest of the world?

Steve McNutt


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