By Frederick W. “Rick” Ford
Palm Beach Post, Letters, June 28, 2015
I applaud the Wednesday Point of View, “Single-payer system would beat ACA.” He is correct that a Medicare-for-all plan — which would replace the more than 1,300 insurance companies (with their profit-driven motives to deny care and $400 billion in overhead costs) with a single, national health-insurance plan administered by Medicare offering expanded coverage and benefits — is a better alternative to the Affordable Care Act.
I prefer to call such a single-payer program “Universal Medicare.”
The writer was mistaken, however, in characterizing a single-payer Medicare-for-all program as “socialistic.” Single-payer is not a socialist health-care system. Under “socialized medicine,” hospitals are owned by the government, and doctors are salaried public employees. For example, the U.S. Veterans Administration and U.S. Department of Defense have a socialized system, as do England and Cuba.
Under single-payer “Universal Medicare,” everyone would have free choice of doctors and hospitals, with no co-pays. The doctors and hospitals would simply send the bill to a single insurance entity for payment, rather than to the 1,300 insurance companies.
True “Medicare for all” would mean the same coverage for everyone. In addition, Medicaid would no be longer needed. Everyone would be under one system. Hundreds of billions of dollars in administrative costs would be saved.
Frederick W. “Rick” Ford resides in North Palm Beach.