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The Student News Site of Stony Brook University

The Statesman

The Student News Site of Stony Brook University

The Statesman


Letter to the Editor: Medicare for All

Dear Editor,

In the Thursday October 12th, 2009 issue of The Statesman, Kevin Young, one of the contributing writers, put together an article arguing for the concept of a Single-payer health care system. Although he has several legitimate points, Kevin is far from revealing the entire truth of the benefits and disadvantages of Single-payer health care. He is yet another individual writing with a biased, leftist agenda as opposed to simply exposing all of the facts for what they are.

So first off, what is ‘Single-payer health care’? How does it work?

Simply put, Single-payer health care is a public service financing the delivery of near-universal or universal health care to a given population as defined by age, citizenship, residency, or any other demographic. Single-payer health insurance collects all medical fees and then pays for all services through a single government (or government-related) source,’ according to’ A’ RELIABLE’ SOURCE)

Okay. That makes sense. We all pay taxes and receive medical care based off a collective pool, instead of managing our own health care policies. Our statistician columnist, Mr. Young, seems to believe that this is the best way to receive health care, because it is ‘Morally right, politically popular and economically advantageous’ and has the statistics to prove it.

Young displays some compelling information that can’t be ignored.’ ‘ ‘ ‘ ‘ ‘ ‘ ‘ ‘ ‘ ‘ ‘ ‘ ‘ ‘ ‘ ‘ ‘ ‘ ‘ ‘ ‘ ‘ ‘ ‘ ‘ ‘ ‘ ‘ ‘ ‘ ‘ For instance, according to Young; ‘45,000 people die each year in this country because they have no health insurance’ and ‘at least 62 percent of all bankruptcies in this country result from medical bills.’ Yes, these are facts and faults of our current system. However, Young is telling you these facts for a particular reason, which is to sway your opinion to agreeing with his point of view. Unfortunately, what Young fails to do is paint a complete picture of the total health care issue. He conveniently ‘forgets’ to mention the state of Massachusetts and their attempts at a single-payer health care system.

According to the Boston Globe, the states plan is ‘a failure.’ It is still leaving ‘200,000 people without coverage and can only go up with rising unemployment’hellip; ‘ They also have other tidbits of information, such as ‘for an individual earning $31,213, the cheapest plan can cost $9,872 in premiums and out-of-pocket payments’ and ‘low-income residents, previously eligible for free care, now face insurance policies requiring unaffordable co-payments for office visits and medications’ and’hellip; ‘access to care is also affected by the uneven distribution of healthcare dollars between primary and specialty care, and between community hospitals and tertiary care hospitals.’ Young also does not mention that according to a July 2009 Congressional Budget Office Report ‘enacting H.R. 3200 would result in a net increase in the federal budget deficit of $239 billion over the 2010-2019 period.’ That does not sound like savings to me.

These are some of the facts of a currently running single-payer health care plan and a tasty single fact from our buddies down at the CBO. Far from a perfect utopian policy, the’ truth of the matter is that it will only become more complex, more expensive and more nebulous if expanded to fit an entire country. My job is not to sway you away from single-payer health care or towards a private sector plan. My job is to inform you of the facts, so you may make your own sound judgment. Consider other avenues such as Tort reform, which reduces medical malpractice suits or allows insurance companies to compete across state lines to help drive down costs before settling on a massive single-payer health care package. Don’t only listen to people like our narrow-minded friend Kevin Young and his slanted perspective on social issues and don’t just listen to me; research more and discover for yourself whether this plan is really ‘Morally Right’ or ‘Economically Advantageous.’

Brent Neenan

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