In response to Victor Reilly's June 23 letter ("Work toward single-payer health plan"), Mr. Reilly seems to be confused. All the examples he lays out in support of allowing the federal government to operate our health care system do nothing but reinforce the reasons we should fight this.
He mentions federal government assurances of safety through the Food and Drug Administration, yet every year more approved medications are recalled after maiming and killing our fellow citizens. He mentions the federal government regulation of banks, yet it was this same regulation and forcing the banks to make subprime loans that pushed us into our current economic woes. He mentions federal government running our schools, yet we have one of the most expensive school systems in the world and our students do not rank anywhere near the top of the world's student rankings to justify that expense.
Mr. Reilly then moves on to the shining examples of Medicare, Medicaid and the Veterans Administration. Medicare and Medicaid are currently out of money. The taxes that current workers are contributing are being used to pay today's bills. There is no reserve, and these services will not be available to me when the population of beneficiaries exceeds the contributors. Many health care providers currently are not accepting Medicare patients because Medicare will not pay a reasonable amount for their services. The VA also is on the short list, and there are talks of reducing benefits to the brave souls who have fought to protect us. Unfortunately, they can't protect us from the federal government.
To see true reform of our system, we must get the patients involved. If I am not involved in paying for my services, I will not fight to get the prices lowered or shop for the best deal. How many more bloated, inefficient, morally corrupt federal government programs can we stand?
North Augusta, S.C.