Medicare for all helps hold down costs

By Robert R. Stuber, M.D.
St. Joseph (Mo.) News-Press, Letters, Dec. 6, 2016

Headlines can be deceiving. The Dec. 5 News-Press contained a deceptive headline under “Clips and Quips.” The headline read, “Columbia Daily Tribune on the trouble with basic universal health care.” For those who read headlines only, this headline was very deceptive, as the detail of the item said just the opposite and at one point said, “Everywhere else in the developed world, single-payer systems provide better health outcomes at lower cost.”

The Tribune goes on to advocate that all citizens should have ready access to good preventive health care at an affordable price through insurance overseen by government.

The Tribune concludes, “This does not mean government would take over provision of services. It does not mean individuals could not buy additional coverage, just as we do now with Medicare augmentation.”

Not one senior would give up his/her Medicare coverage. The program has been invaluable to seniors, helping to increase their life expectancy from 65 to 77.

Furthermore, prior to Medicare enactment in 1965, many seniors died as paupers, their life savings having been wiped out by health problems associated with advancing age.

Trump has appointed Rep. Price as the head of Health and Human Services. Price has been a loud voice in Congress against universal health care. He advocates privatizing Medicare. He is totally disconnected from what is occurring in the rest of the civilized world, where one payer systems prevail.

Medicare for all is nondiscriminatory, fair, and would help to contain the rising cost of health care in this country. The free market competitive climate that has been the bedrock of our current health care system has failed miserably in cost containment and in providing access to care for all Americans.

Robert R. Stuber, M.D., resides in St. Joseph.