In the Dec 20 issue, Joe Brooks wrote that the United States should have a “one-payer or other universal system” (“For universal care,” Letters). He cites statistics that other countries spend less on healthcare as a percentage of GDP with equivalent results than in the United States.
I would like to ask Mr. Brookssome basic economic questions. First, any business our government is involved with loses money. The Postal Service, Amtrak, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac are all money losers. Congressional Budget Office projections of the first 10 years’ costs of Obamacare have doubled within two years. No one has any real idea of what things will cost. Wheredoes the money to pay for a universal system come from?
Mr. Brooks stated that a universal system would cover tens of millions of uninsured people. Since the number of doctors will stay roughly the same, who will see all these patients? How long will those of us who already have insurance have to wait to see a doctor if they have all these added patients?
My sister and her family live in Italy, where there is universal coverage. The public health system there is not as good as in the United States, so people of means pay privately to get better medical care. In Canada, the rich go to the United States so they do not have to wait months to get an operation. Universal coverage is not all that proponents make it out to be. Most people in the U.S. are happy with their health insurance. Why would we want to make major changes and risk having an inferior system?
Mr. Brooks is correct in stating that our current system is broke.Obamacare was passed by people in Congress who had no idea what was in the bill (as admitted by Nancy Pelosi). What is needed is a special bipartisan committee to propose recommendations thatare best for this country. An open discussion of all our options with all the related pros and cons is the way to go. That is what a true democracy is all about.