A viable health-care crisis solution

To the editor,

When listening to Democratic candidates discuss health care, it’s important to hear what they mean as opposed to what they say. Michael Bennet, who is sponsoring Medicare X, talks about the benefits of a public option. When the Affordable Care Act (ACA) was being negotiated and the public option got nixed, it was in part because a public option undercuts insurance and pharmaceutical company profits. The idea is that those who can’t afford the phenomenal premiums currently being charged by the industry could “buy in” to Medicare ... the public option ... at a much lower price. If a public option is such a good thing, why is there not a public opportunity for every American, cradle to grave, to have comprehensive health care? That’s National Improved Medicare for All (NIMA)!

One of the problems with the ACA is that coverage was mandated for every American, yet there is no limit on premiums (and therefore profits) that insurance companies can charge. Similarly, there is no cap on drug prices, and no government negotiating for Medicare drug pricing. A public option would have been much more affordable.

Imagine comprehensive care for every American, including dental, vision, preventative and mental health care and prescription medications. Health care is possibly the biggest problem we face in America today; it underlies many of our other issues, including stagnant wages because of employer health care costs, bankruptcies, drug and alcohol addiction, and infectious disease outbreaks, to name a few. NIMA is the only viable solution to our health-care crisis.

– Dr. Lauri Costello, Durango