Health care for all

By Charles Bensonhaver, M.D.
The Post and Courier (Charleston, S.C.), Letters, Sept. 25, 2016

In a Sept. 21 letter to the editor titled “Health care slide,” the writer advances the notion that more government intervention will result in deterioration of our health care.

I disagree. What we need is the right kind of government intervention.

Unfortunately, most Americans are unaware that, among the advanced nations in the world, we have the most costly system. It is almost twice as much as the average of other modern nations such as Germany, France, Australia and New Zealand. Furthermore, among the 25 or so advanced countries in the world we are the only one that does not automatically cover everyone.

The anxiety we have about getting sick and being unable to pay for care is very high and is getting worse because more and more of the cost is thrown onto the shoulders of the patient.

Really now, what is insurance for if it doesn’t cover all or nearly all of the cost?

All of this is completely unnecessary. Effective reforms are known.

However, you can be sure that the health insurance companies, the drug companies, the health care equipment companies and the large for-profit hospital chains do not want you to know this.

What we need is to improve traditional Medicare and phase it in as the single-payer system for all Americans.

Our current overhead is huge, and Medicare single payer will dramatically reduce it. Outsized profits will go away.

All citizens will know that their country is there for them when they are ill. We have been there for all of us with free public education for over a century. We can do the same with health care.

The best resource I can give for more information on this reform is the Physicians for a National Health Program. Check out our website at

Dr. Charles Bensonhaver lives on Johns Island.