Letter: How will single-payer system work?

In her guest column of June 4 “GOP plan cuts access to health care for many”, Cecilia Norris states that we need single-payer rather than insurance based health care delivery system. Unfortunately, she does not describe how a single payer system would work.

Is she advocating for socialized medicine where the federal government taxes the citizenry and sets payment amounts based on the care/procedure? Is she advocating for the state or federal government to take over the role of the insurance companies? If so, would it be a one size fits all policy with no copay? Or would there be a basic policy with the consumer purchasing supplemental insurance based on their needs (e.g. opting for a lower deductible; dental coverage; eye examination coverage, etc.).

We have several examples of socialized medicine in this country (VA hospitals, federal penitentiaries and Native American care on reservations). I don’t want any of them to become the model for this country’s health care program. We also have one example of the single payer system in the form of Medicare. It provides basic coverage with the consumer able to procure supplemental insurance to cover the rest. Of course, the supplemental policies are administered by insurance companies, something Norris wants to eliminate. There also is the problem of finding a doctor who accepts new Medicare patients, as the reimbursement rates are low.

I would like to read another column by Norris, where she would explain exactly how she thinks a single-payer health delivery system would work and be funded.

Herb Giorgio

Cedar Rapids

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