By Jay D. Brock, M.D.
Washington Post, Letters, September 23, 2019
Regarding the Sept. 20 op-ed by South Bend, Ind., Mayor Pete Buttigieg, a candidate for the Democratic presidential nomination, “Here’s a better way to do Medicare-for-all”:
Mr. Buttigieg, despite bemoaning the present multiple-payer system of health insurance as “too expensive, too complicated and too frustrating,” nevertheless is proposing, with his “Medicare for All Who Want It,” to perpetuate that very same system — even as he lauds the Medicare system upon which single-payer would be based because it freed his family from financial worry during his father’s fatal illness.
Our current system is too expensive because of the administrative and other wasted costs it takes to run it. We already spend enough to cover everyone (and do it without additional out-of-pocket costs) — we just don’t spend it wisely. Mr. Buttigieg’s proposal, like all incremental public-option plans, leaves these wasted costs in place. Only single-payer fixes this.
President Barack Obama took the lead in his first term to vastly improve health insurance. Let’s follow his lead now and build a single-payer Medicare-for-all.