Health-care fix is Medicare for all

Letter to the Editor
The Telegraph (Nashua, NH)
Monday, January 11, 2010

The current health care bills should be rejected. With 45 million people uninsured, 45,000 deaths annually due to lack of insurance, and nearly a million medical bankruptcies a year, a four-year delay in medical reform is unacceptable. Medicare was in place eleven months after passage in 1965.

More disturbing, after spending $1 trillion in the next decade, over 20 million Americans will still be without insurance coverage. Worse, the number of people with skimpy coverage will be rising dramatically. The bills reinforce this with various inadequate coverage levels of 60 to 90 percent of total health care costs.

Taxpayers should be concerned about the 40 percent excise tax on “Cadillac” health plans costing more than $23,000 per family, not indexed for inflation.

The City of Portsmouth paid about $24,500 for a family policy in 2009, and at the current rate of increase each year, would pay $74,079 in 2020. The extra tax per policy would rise quickly from $600 this year to over $20,000 in 2020.

A health policy approaching $100,000 per year is unbelievable and repugnant. Physicians for a National Health Program endorses Medicare For All. When passed, a small tax matched by your employer, provides you with full coverage, without co-payments, deductibles, out-of-pocket costs, or rejection because of preexisting conditions.

Peace of mind for your family, your children and your grandchildren comes from a lifetime program of automatic insurance coverage. We believe that government-involved health care is preferable to Wall Street-run health care. We believe everyone should be covered equally, and any savings should be used to reduce premiums, not to drive up the price of insurance stocks and CEO bonuses.

Every other industrialized country provides health insurance coverage to all of their citizens. Bankruptcies are unheard of, and in most, the citizens never see a bill.

We need to move away from a multitude of plans with a dizzying array of options four years from now, to a single plan which covers everyone now

Thomas Clairmont, MD
Portsmouth, N.H.