By John Benziger, M.D.
Kennebec (Maine) Journal, Letters, Feb. 11, 2016
Just as the tobacco and fossil-fuel industries sponsored “experts” to perpetuate the idea that their industries were harmless, the for-profit American heath care industry is now engaging in misinformation claiming Bernie Sander’s single-payer system would “break the bank.”
The truth is that an “Improved Medicare For All” single-payer system would cut costs drastically and provide coverage for everybody. Virtually every other developed country has an affordable universal system that proves the point.
At issue is that single-payer threatens the multimillion-dollar paychecks of insurance companies and their CEOs, and the outrageous profits of drug and medical device companies and medical entrepreneurs. Under single-payer, private health insurance companies are gone and the system can negotiate for lower drug and medical device costs.
People are waking up to see that corporate greed is hurting Americans. We have a broken for-profit health care system. Quality is mediocre, and more than 25 million Americans are still uninsured. Medicare, Medicaid and hospitals are under threat of new cuts. Meanwhile the nation’s for-profit health industry nets billions in profits, and CEOs take home tens of millions in pay.
A single-payer “Improved Medicare For All” would cut costs dramatically by streamlining health care paperwork and making health care affordable. Savings would be enough to provide coverage for everyone, without ANY additional spending! The concept is popular with the American people and enjoys the support of most doctors.
Consult Physicians for a National Health Program (pnhp.org) and learn how you can help bring about a real universal health care system. Add your voice to the growing chorus, and tell our leaders to stand up for the health of the American people rather than the wealth of our richest firms.
Dr. John Benziger resides in South China, Maine.
PNHP note: Physicians for a National Health Program (PNHP) is a nonpartisan educational organization. It neither supports nor opposes any candidates for public office.