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State plan could work in Kansas

Letters to the Editor
The Capital-Journal (Kansas)
Friday, February 15, 2008

The Legislature has a chance to do it right on the first try.

Actuaries from Arizona presented to the Kansas Health Policy Authority a model of health care reform that provides health insurance for all Kansans and at a cost savings of $800 million over the other four plans considered by KHPA. The Legislature should study this transformative and pioneering plan.

Imagine a Kansas where mothers and fathers go to sleep at night at without the worry of how they will provide health care for their children. Imagine a Kansas where all adults know they will get the health care they need regardless of their economic status.

The plan is a single-payer plan and involves the state becoming the insurance company for all Kansans.

It is a given that many Kansans, including myself, have reservations about turning something as important as health care over to the government.

At the same time, government protects our citizens and fights our wars. It builds our highways and provides subsidies to farmers to ensure a steady supply of food. Why should health care be singled out as the one area where government shouldn't be a partner?

Under a single-payer plan, more of the health care premium dollars go toward medical care itself. Under a state plan, premium dollars would remain in Kansas. Those dollars could serve as an important economic stimulus to Kansas during a time of recession.

IRA STAMM
Topeka, KS