By Vanessa Van Doren and Joshua Niforatos
The Plain Dealer (Cleveland), Letters, Jan. 15, 2015
In her Jan. 15 Sun News column, “Medicaid expansion not healthy for individuals, government: Sarah Bevins, Libertarian Party of Ohio,” Sarah Bevins argued for complete cessation of all government safety-net healthcare programs that provide life-saving medical care to the poorest Americans. She believes a free-market healthcare system will improve access to care and reduce costs despite evidence to the contrary.
Even with Medicare, Medicaid and CHIP covering vulnerable citizens, 44,000 people die each year due to lack of health insurance. Medical bills are the leading cause of bankruptcy in the U.S., even for those with health insurance.
Bevins incorrectly attributes paperwork hurdles to Medicaid when in fact these hurdles exist because of the rules and red tape that are a result of multiple insurers.
Single Payer Reform is a solution to these problems. Every resident of the U.S. would be enrolled in an improved Medicare that covers all necessary medical care. Over $300 billion yearly in savings will be obtained by transitioning to a public payer. Patients will no longer face financial barriers to care and would regain free choice of doctor and hospital.
Ohioans need to decide if they want a free-market model that benefits only the affluent of society, or if they want a healthcare model that is known to work and provides improved and expanded care for all.
Van Doren and Niforatos are medical students at Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine and co-founders of a student chapter of Physicians for a National Health Program.