After court ruling, problems remain

By Christine Adams, Ph.D.
Houston Chronicle, Letters, June 29, 2012

Regarding "Decision affirms division" (Page A1, Friday), the Supreme Court's ruling to uphold the Affordable Care Act (ACA) does not solve our health care crisis. ACA does provide mild but temporary relief for many Americans (allowing children to remain on parents' health insurance until age 26; eliminating pre-existing conditions exclusions, etc.).

However, single-payer national health insurance is the only solution to our health-care crisis. Only a single-payer national health care system can control costs without jeopardizing quality health care.

The U.S. is now an outlier compared to other industrialized nations by not providing guaranteed health security to all its citizens and legal residents. These nations spend half as much per person on health care as we do. (Germany just reported a surplus of $5.28 billion in its national health insurance program.)

Yet they still provide as good or better medical outcomes as we do. They can reduce costs without sacrificing quality because they have eliminated the root cause of out-of-control spiraling health care costs: for-profit health insurance companies that siphon off billions of dollars from health care each year for unnecessary expenses that have nothing to do with health care.

We need Congress to pass a single-payer national health insurance program so we can eliminate financial barriers to health care, improve efficiency, control costs and maintain high-quality health care.

Christine Adams is a licensed psychologist. She resides in Houston.