Single-payer health plan would be best for patients

By Robert A. Milch, M.D.
The Buffalo News, Letters, Nov. 1, 2014

The News reported Oct. 25 that the national head of BlueCross BlueShield said the United States “spends too much” for health care, stakeholders need to “work” together and reimbursement must shift to one that “rewards best outcomes.”

Belaboring the well-known obvious, his comments are superficial and self-serving. Costly administrative bureaucracies such as his with arbitrary limitations have made health insurance unavailable or unaffordable for too many Americans while fueling a system producing substandard results.

The “best” outcomes for the individual patient and community as a whole are produced by a single-payer, universal coverage such as by an expanded Medicare, which minimizes or eliminates private insurance plans. This has been demonstrated time and again by every developed country instituting such a policy – outcomes measured as life expectancy, infant and maternal death rates, countless others.

We should no longer be tolerant of unresponsive, empty posturing such as his or our elected representatives, resistant to meaningful change. Health is not just a commodity, and its care requires more than a transaction.

Dr. Robert A. Milch resides in Williamsville.