Defending single-payer health care

To the editor,

The corporations fighting against Medicare for All are powerful and well-funded. Drugmakers, insurance companies and private hospitals have banded together, calling themselves the Partnership for America’s Health Care Future. Spending a combined $143 million last year lobbying lawmakers to oppose Medicare for All, this rich and mighty club includes the American Medical Association, Pharmaceutical Research & Manufacturers of America, the Federation of American Hospitals and Blue Cross/Blue Shield.

On the flip side, more doctors now support Medicare for All, even if it means slightly lower salaries. A registered Republican, working at a gene sequencing firm, says that despite growing up a conservative, he never imagined supporting potential “government largesse” like Medicare for All. But now he’s convinced that a single public payer is needed.

“Medicare is, without question, the most reliable, most predictable payer that we deal with,” he said. “And for somebody like me it would be a dream to only have to deal with them. I guess you could count me as pro-Medicare for All, a sentence I never thought I’d write 15 years ago.”

Private payers make life virtually impossible for smaller providers because they’re in the for-profit game, he said, putting up “an endless set of traps against reimbursement, contracting and other parts of the revenue life cycle that add substantial cost to services and thus increase cost to the consumer.”

Medicare for All would bring reliability and consistency to the current health care mess. Lower prices for our health care will follow.

– Dr. Lauri Costello, Durango