By Jay Brock, M.D.
The Washington Post, Letters, Feb. 13, 2019
Regarding Ronald A. Klain’s Feb. 7 Thursday Opinion commentary, “How Democrats could squander their advantage on health care”:
There seems to be increasing unease about the state of U.S. health insurance. And with good reason: The current system, based on multiple payers, including large numbers of for-profit health insurance companies, each year wastes hundreds of billions of dollars and, because of patients’ delay in obtaining affordable care, tens of thousands of lives.
We can debate whether people like their employer-based insurance or whether a single-payer system is perfect or how best to fund it, but it is inarguable that our current system stands alone among all the world’s advanced nations as having failed to achieve universal coverage or to do it in a manner the nation can afford.
Americans, the saying goes, usually do the right thing — after trying everything else. And comparing the successes of the Canadian single-payer system with the immense structural failures of our system (costs, denial of recommended care, people lacking truly affordable coverage) makes a timely decision all the more compelling: A single-payer system would be a wholesale improvement over our current one. The country cannot afford to do otherwise, and the sooner, the better.