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Alan Ames

Jefferson City

Dear Editor:

Medicare for all is the best alternative for a health care system. No sense arguing if it is a “right” the economy of scale for 327 million people is most efficient if we include everyone.

Whether or not immigrants are covered is a separate issue; don’t hold health care for Americans hostage to the immigration debate.

Although these costs are hidden, we already pay for coverage of illegal immigrants, drug addicts, homeless, etc . Hospitals are required to treat all people. They absorb the costs and increase their charges to balance it out. But this is a poor substitute for “health care.”

Before I was eligible for Medicare, I opposed Medicare-for-all because I thought it was free and feared the costs would kill us. But I pay about $300 a month for Medicare, a supplemental policy, a drug policy, and have a deductible. Free coverage? If we all pay, policy costs should come down.

I used to oppose socialized medicine because I feared the government bureaucracy would cost too much. We are presently in bureaucratic overload: Over 31 percent of every health care dollar goes to paperwork, overhead, CEO salaries, profits, etc. Medicare is up and running; no construction of another department is needed. Plus, this is not socialized medicine (where health workers are government employees), it is socialized health insurance.

With Medicare, I choose my doctor and we direct my care, not some government or insurance company bureaucrat. Cost containment measures are publicly managed at the state level by elected and appointed agencies that represent the public. The total budget for health care is set through a public, democratic process. But clinical decisions remain a private matter between doctor and patient.

Also, businesses are needing relief covering their employees. It requires hiring personnel just to deal with insurance. This should free up small and medium size companies from these onerous costs. A country focused on preventative health care should have a healthy workforce, free of fears of crippling health care costs.

Don’t let fear stop the change we need. We cannot afford the system we have: exorbitant costs, rationed care for some, and no care for far too many.

Find out more at: (Physicians for a National Health Program)

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