Consider Medicare for everyone

By John Sytsma, M.D.
Sun Journal (Lewiston, Maine), Letters, Dec. 5, 2012

I am responding to a column by Matt Miller of the Washington Post, printed in the Sun Journal Nov. 30. He suggests that President Obama appoint a panel of experts, chaired by Mitt Romney, to solve the serious problems the nation faces in financing health care.

Rather than asking Romney to chair a panel, Obama should listen to the majority of U.S. physicians and many others who have studied the problem for years and come up with the only system that makes sense — a single-payer national health policy.

Yes, the U.S. health care system is extremely dysfunctional, with 20 to  30 percent of health care spending going into corporate pockets, while more and more dollars are being taken away from beneficiaries.

The U.S., with its profitized system of health care, is spending twice as much on health care as other industrialized countries, yet stands in 17th place in quality of care. The death toll is higher among the uninsured than among the insured. Medical bankruptcy abounds, even among the insured.

The U.S. needs to take a serious look around and consider Medicare for all — the most efficient, not-for-profit system, with administrative costs similar to those in other countries.

Dr. John Sytsma resides in Farmington.