To the Editor:
I respectfully disagree with reader Jon Schulte’s letter regarding health insurance and the demise of Medicare.
Medicare is not a ponzi scheme; Medicare will not go broke if we take a rational approach.
I am a life long Conservative and have been in the health insurance business for over 40 years. The best way out of the intolerable situation today is to embrace single payer – Medicare for all if you will – with some incentives such as health savings accounts.
There is not now, and never will be, a free market when it comes to healthcare and health insurance. That is an illusion, because providers and drug companies [the later of which are robbing everyone blind] are the supply and the demand. If both supply and demand are in the same corner, then costs will naturally rise.
The main problem with our system is cost. Enbrel, which is a drug used to reduce pain associated with arthritis and is heavily advertised on television by PGA player Phil Mickelson, is being taken by millions of people. Do you know what Enbrel costs? $4,500 per month. Forever. So, we are spending $50,000 per year per person taking Enbrel. Multiply that by millions of people and you can see we are headed for bankruptcy. And this is just one example. There are hundreds of drugs where the same sort of fleecing is going on. Single payer is not, as some uninformed conservatives think, “government-run healthcare.” That is total fabrication.
Rather, under single payer, the federal government sets reimbursement rates to all providers. And that is all it is.
Getting a handle on costs is our main problem. If we do not adopt single payer soon, our nation most assuredly will go bankrupt. In this respect, we are beyond trying to cobble together some sort of replacement system that will be as ineffective and costly as our current system. Single payer is a necessity, not a choice.
William B. Hall