The New York Times
July 6, 2001
To the Editor:
In a June 30 letter, a former chairman and chief executive of Aetna Inc. suggests that people pay for procedures not covered by their insurance plan or health maintenance organization. Maybe he can afford this, but most of us cannot. Therefore, insurers are making medical decisions when they deny coverage.
The United States outspends every nation on health care, yet health care here is ranked 37th in quality by the World Health Organization. Most Canadian and British citizens are satisfied with their national health care systems. While Canada often has long waiting lists, this is caused by a small population to share the costs and a shortage of physicians, which the United States does not have.
A single-payer plan is long over-due in the United States. Health care is a basic human right and an essential service well within the scope of government to provide.
ROBERTA PALMER, M.D. Tigard, OR
Comment: The New York Times has published innumerable letters advocating for single-payer health care reform. Isn’t it time for their editorial board to sit down with representatives of the single payer movement to consider their own endorsement of this imperative for health care justice?