Single-pay health makes sense

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I favor single-payer health care. Here's why.

If we can get to universal health care, the role of private insurance companies would be greatly diminished. Insurers adjust premiums to risk, but with universal care, all are in the pool so that role is gone.

Another major role has been for insurers to approve medical decisions.

This is an unacceptable conflict of interest, as their preference is to deny, deny, deny. What is left is the paperwork, and with so many insurers, each with its own method, the resulting cost and inconvenience is wasteful.

It is important to recognize that we citizens pay all medical expenses -- by premiums; direct payments to providers; for malpractice insurance; for the costs of care for indigents and the uninsured; and through taxes. If the feds increase the debt because of shortfalls in taxes, that is our debt. There is no fairy godmother.

By going to a single-payer system like most other developed countries, we can approach their much lower cost. If the total cost can be cut by paying more of it in taxes, that would be a good deal. Also, getting all insured will be a snap with a tax.

We are half "socialized" already, what with the federal government managing Medicare, Medicaid and veterans' care, and doing a pretty good job of it. Why, then, are we all so concerned about going the rest of the way? I have been on Medicare for more than 20 years, and would not trade that for any private insurer.

Getting agreement on a single payer will be difficult. One way to get there eventually is to include a Medicare-like option to compete with existing insurers. This is a must.

Victor Reilly

Aiken, S.C.

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rjc
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rjc 03/12/09 - 06:29 am
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It's obvious you haven't

It's obvious you haven't looked at all of those "other developed countries" that have socialized medicine. If you had, you'd see that none of them have a medical community as good as we have here in the US. England being a prime example. Too few doctors, exceedingly long wait periods for all procedures. And, to top it off, employers provide private insurance so people can bypass the government system. Lastly, look at how well our government has hanndled Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security. All three are huge, money-eating bureaucracies that are on the road to bankrupting the US. Sure, it's a good idea to add our medical coverage into the pile. So your research before you comment on something.

44mag
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44mag 03/12/09 - 06:36 am
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"Medicare, Medicaid and

"Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security" - As long as I get mine. Right justus? I'm with ya! "Medicare, Medicaid and veterans' care, and doing a pretty good job of it." - What happened to Social Security? Concerning Medicare/Medicaid, you obviously haven't been hanging with some folks I know filing for disability. I've seen others (whose disability claims seem somewhat questionable) get approved quite expeditiously. Why is it liberals always talk in circles? I must give Mr. Reily credit for making his case without the rhetoric from the noramal group of respondents, right justus? I'm with ya!

imho1
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imho1 03/12/09 - 08:05 am
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Mr. Reilly makes a well

Mr. Reilly makes a well thought, lucid argument; too bad he is totally wrong. 20 years of having me and other working people pay for his medical care without having to worry about govt. rationing has clearly clouded his thinking. If he has been on Medicare for 20 years; he must be 85 years old. It is people like Mr. Reilly, who wish for socialized medicine the most, that will like it the least when it gets here. In countries with socialized medicine; people like Mr. Reilly rountinely have expensive care delayed in the hope that they will die before the care is administered. Talk to anyone from England, Canada, or any European country and ask them about medical care for people who are retired, unemployed, or generally not contributing to the tax base. He is absolutely correct in stating that "we citizens pay all medical expenses", and that is not going to change. Medical care is a commodity who's price is controlled by supply and demand. When the government begins controlling the price i.e. cutting payments to providers, the supply will drop but demand will remain constant; this will lead to rationing and squeezing people out of care they can get now.

55 F-100
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55 F-100 03/12/09 - 08:36 am
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The quality of care would be

The quality of care would be dismal, and what bright young person would want to endiure the rigors and expense of medical school knowing that they would be a government employee at a fixed rate of pay AND that it would take 10 or more years to pay off their medical school debts??? Wonder what color uniforms "O" will make us wear, and will he use these gaudy ridiculous "O" tatoos and a numbering system for our socialist identification markings??? Sharpen your pitchforks and get your concealed carry permits before it's too late.

JohnRandolphHardisonCain
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JohnRandolphHardisonCain 03/12/09 - 09:04 am
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For all those who rail how

For all those who rail how superior healthcare is in United States, here is a story in the news today about the findings of objective measures of healthcare. "Report: US on short end of health care 'value gap'" by Ricardo Alonzo-Zaldivar [AP] Thu Mar 12, 12:48 am ET - "The U.S. is 23 points behind five leading economic competitors: Canada, Japan, Germany, the United Kingdom & France. The five nations cover all their citizens, and though their systems differ, in each country the government plays a much larger role than in the U.S."// "The cost-benefit disparity is even wider - 46 points - when the U.S. is compared with emerging competitors: China, Brazil and India." // "What's important is that we measure & compare actual value - not just how much we spend on health care, but the performance we get back in return," said H. Edward Hanway, CEO of the insurance company Cigna. "That's what this study does, and the results are quite eye-opening." // "Higher U.S. spending funnels away resources that could be invested elsewhere in the economy, but fails to deliver a healthier work force, the report said. // Other countries spend less on health care & their workers are relatively healthier.

Geistlich
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Geistlich 03/12/09 - 10:03 am
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The kindest reply I can make

The kindest reply I can make to Mr Reilly is: "Sir, you are an idiot!" In a college public speaking course I was required to do a speach supporting socialized medicine (the true name for single payer health care). In studying both sides of the question I became convinced that only a fool could really want the government in charge of his health care. There has been nothing in the ensuing years to change that opinion.

Geistlich
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Geistlich 03/12/09 - 12:18 pm
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JRHC, the reason health care

JRHC, the reason health care in the US costs so much is the government. Hospitals and Physicians have to hire and support a whole new group of people whose only purpose is to file the government required paperwork. Get them out of health care, let the economy correct itself and health care costs will plummet.

imdstuf
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imdstuf 03/12/09 - 02:19 pm
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He is right about how the

He is right about how the insurance companies control things right now. It is crazy that insurance suits, and not actual health care workers, get to decide what procedures and medicines we need.

southernguy08
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southernguy08 03/12/09 - 02:54 pm
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Our "compassionate"
Unpublished

Our "compassionate" government has been in charge of Social Security, now billions of dollars in debt. Our "compassionate" government has been in charge of Medicare, now billions of dollars in debt. Our "compassionate" govenment has been in charge of Homeland Security, and can't even get a wall finished to keep illegals from Mexico out of our contry. And now, big O and the libs want our "compassionate" govenment in charge of healthcare. Why not? They've done such a great job on everything else! Government run healthcare means huge incomepetence, corruption, inefficiency, and ultimately, rationalized care, the government deciding who gets care, and who doesn't. And, as usual, the tax paying minority will be left footing the bill! Thanks, but no thanks, President O. You can keep the "change."

femacamper
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femacamper 03/12/09 - 07:43 pm
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Obviously, the majority of

Obviously, the majority of people do not understand what single payer means. Medicare is an example of single payer - i.e., the government pays the provider for his/her services. This does not mean that the government is in charge of our health care - they are not dictating who the provider is nor determining what the appropriate care is. Eliminating insurance companies would save 30 billion in administrative costs. For-profit insurance companies do not maximize shareholder profit by paying for health care services. They maximize profit by denying payment for health care services.

femacamper
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femacamper 03/12/09 - 07:50 pm
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Geistlich - the reason health

Geistlich - the reason health care costs are so high is not because of government required paperwork. A few years back, most insurance companies had their own individual billing procedures and forms - making for a nightmare in the doctor's office. Gradually, most insurance companies have switched to the more simple HICFA (government) form. Profit motive has much more to do with high health care cost.

convertedsoutherner
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convertedsoutherner 03/12/09 - 07:54 pm
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Ask Canada and some of the

Ask Canada and some of the other countries how they like universal health care. Haven't heard one positive word from any of those that have encountered that type of system. Ask the elderly about their care in this system. Don't think you would like the treatment, if you are an elderly patient. If you're so enamoured with it, try living in Canada and getting care.

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