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Health care cost cure: single payer

By Ewell G. Scott, M.D.
Lexington (Ky.) Herald-Leader, Letters, June 2, 2015

Dr. Kevin Kavanagh, a leading Kentucky advocate for transparency in health-care costs and outcomes, writes in a recent commentary that Medicare-for-all might be the solution to our financing woes.

I support going to a single-not-for-profit payer system and eliminating for-profit health insurance companies. These unneeded middlemen must be eliminated if health care costs are to be controlled.

Twenty percent to 30 percent of the premium dollar goes for their profits and overhead.

A single-payer system could do it for 3 percent overhead — what our single-payer system for seniors does now. The Affordable Care Act (a misnomer if there ever was one) merely forces us to buy a private, inefficient, expensive product.

I am thankful for Gov. Steve Beshear's Medicaid expansion, but his reliance on private (for the most part) companies to "manage" (read: "deny") health care is robbing hospitals and other providers of rightful compensation and merely increasing the private companies' profits.

Anthem, an Indiana-based insurer, recently announced record profits, which leave our rural facilities teetering on the brink of insolvency.

One only has to look at Auditor Adam Edelen's recent in-depth report for verification of their poor financial health. Our people deserve better. It can be done. Medicare for all. Easy.

Dr. Ewell G. Scott resides in Morehead.

Read more here: http://www.kentucky.com/2015/06/01/3879845/june-2-letters-to-the-editor....