I have some questions for The Augusta Chronicle staff and its readers: Is it OK for government to assure the safety of our food and our medicines? Is it OK for government to prevent monopolies of things we need to buy? Is it OK for the government to regulate banks? Is it OK for the government to run our primary schools?
All of these are accepted, but I do not see that makes us socialists.
Regarding health care, the federal government already manages a third of the money spent on health care, via Medicare, Medicaid and the VA. One might say that we are well on the road to government-run health care for all. One-third is fine, but 100 percent is intolerable? I can understand our "representatives" in Washington, D.C., arguing against that idea, because they are in the pay of the insurers whose very existence depends on it. But why are you and so many of us citizens opposed?
Maximizing cost savings in health care is needed, but is just not possible without ridding ourselves of the existing dominating profit motive. Getting all enrolled also is needed, but is impossible without the federal government being in charge. Without solving these two problems, we are wasting our time.
This year, we should limit our goals, but include a public plan patterned generally on Medicare. If the public goes for it as expected, we will be on the path to achieve in several years a single-payer system, run by the feds, just as all other developed countries have. Worrying about the costs this year makes no sense. We'll save big when we get there.
If Medicare is any guide, we'll love it. If you doubt that, ask someone you know who's older than 64 how they feel about their Medicare.
Victor Reilly, Aiken, S.C.