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Let's get real about health reform

By Elizabeth R. Rosenthal, M.D.
The New York Times, Letters, June 29, 2012

Let’s get real about health care reform. Although the Affordable Care Act will bring health insurance to many, it will not bring health care to all or control costs. Millions will still be uninsured or underinsured: one job loss or illness away from bankruptcy. Billions of dollars will continue to be wasted by private, for-profit insurance companies through inflated administrative costs, profits to shareholders and huge salaries for chief executives. These dollars could all be going toward providing health care if we eliminated this unnecessary middleman.

We do not have to look far for a way to do this. Our Medicare program can be expanded to provide care for all. If Congress won’t do this, New York State can lead the way with its own single-payer bill. New York could show the nation how to end the disgrace of allowing so many of the 99 percent to suffer and die for lack of health care that, soon, will be affordable only for the 1 percent.

Dr. Elizabeth R. Rosenthal is a doctor. She resides in Larchmont, N.Y.