The Crying Need for Single Payer

September 25, 2014

Randolph Herald

The letter “Single Payer Hurts Quality” (09/18/14) has some explaining to do.
If “Economics 101 teaches that price controls always lead to scarcity and loss of quality,” as the writer suggests, then why do nations with global budgets and single-payer systems consistently turn in better quality care than we do? What does Economics 101 teach about this?

The letter said that “controlling prices does not control costs.” If this is so, then why are our health care costs the world’s highest? We have the most unregulated health care system. According to an article in Time Magazine, America has the “most expensive health care system in the world, the nation ranks lowest in terms of “efficiency, equity and outcomes.”

And are not the always-rising fixed costs for hospitals (electricity, snow-plowing, etc), already factored into the budgets negotiated with the Green Mountain Care Board, which is regulatory entity and does not pay hospitals?

The letter also does not explain why competition between insurers has never lowered prices before. Why will it do so now? And what will the competition be over? More junk policies, with unaffordable deductibles?

And what are high risk pools for pre-existing conditions? As someone afflicted with a pre-existing, I want to know exactly what these entail.

Thankfully, Governor Shumlin has an even better idea and is sticking to it. Single-payer. This is the only way to control our ballooning health care costs, cover all of our citizens at the same time, and not shove those like me with pre-existing conditions into these “high risk pools.”

Walter Carpenter
Montpelier