Why is it the health insurance and pharmaceutical companies are now suddenly willing to say they'll rein in their profits slightly over several years rather than have single-payer health care on the table as a viable option? Why are they willing to spend millions of dollars for ads meant to frighten us with buzzwords like "socialism" and "government-run"?
Funny, I haven't heard horror stories when folks cash their Social Security checks or see a doctor, Medicare card in hand, and these are two socialistic, government-run programs with long and very good track records. Could it be because these greedy companies know that they cannot compete with a plan that covers everyone, allows you to choose your doctors, continues even if you lose your job, would negotiate lower prices for drugs, would not charge higher premiums because of health conditions, would keep administrative costs down and cover preventive care?
There are more than 1,000 organizations supporting single-payer health care and millions of citizens begging for it, yet we are told it's not going to be seriously considered or even be "on the table." Why is it that people living in countries that have single-payer health care describe themselves as being some of the happiest people in the world (Denmark being No. 1)? You'd think the health insurance companies would be delighted to go head to head, if what they're offering is so much better. Instead they are really, really frightened.
Time to call your senators and urge them to support single-payer health care. You can bet they've already heard from the health insurance/drug companies.
Tactics vs. truth
I am glad to see that letter writer Dave Majernik is so concerned about defending a patient's access to surgery like the double hand transplant that recently took place at the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center ("Would a New Health System Allow This Operation?" May 21). I am also glad to see that he is so well-informed that he can state, with certainty, that such a procedure would not be possible in our country if we had, gasp, socialized medicine.
I mean, what if someone needed a partial or full face transplant? Would they be able to get that surgery in a country with socialized medicine like, say, France? Oh, wait ... someone did get that surgery there.
Quit trying to scare seniors. They already know that while our health-care procedures are top-notch, so are the costs! Eat dinner today or pay for a prescription? I think seniors should be able to do both!