Tell Baucus single-payer is best

by Bob Balhiser
Queen City News, Montana
Wednesday, February 11, 2009

To the Editor:

Now that Tom Daschle is out of contention for HHS secretary, Sen. Baucus seems to think he has an inside track and is teaming up with Sen. Kennedy to push through his plan for health care reform. I cannot imagine a worse outcome.

As bad as things are now, it would be better to do nothing than to hurriedly implement the complex Baucus plan. How can Max reasonably expect to have a worthwhile outcome by simply tweaking our existing system which, by his own admission, costs twice as much as other industrialized nations and delivers worse outcomes?
We need to ask Max why he is so deathly afraid to see a single-payer plan given a fair hearing. I suspect it is because he knows a well-designed system of Medicare for all U.S. citizens will "pencil out" far better, be more user-friendly, and be less complex than his plan.

Most people recognize that private health insurers add no value to our health care system and just complicate the process of delivering health care and paying health-care bills. Single-payer systems are far simpler, more user-friendly, and have a track record for reliably paying health care bills with far fewer hassles for far less cost.
If you want real health care reform, I suggest you write or call Max. Tell him, before we do anything with health care, it is important that we know what we are doing is right. That means first showing how his plan stacks up in all respects against a well-designed single-payer system before doing anything.