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Greenville may have missed out on the new Amazon facility. One Amazon exec stated: "We wanted to go to Greenville but...

Single-payer comments off base

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Tuesday, July 10, 2018

There is a lot of misinformation regarding single-payer health plans, and Albert Hunt’s column in the Sunday Daily Reflector did nothing to clear the air. His remarks regarding the health care system were both inaccurate and off the mark. Hunt referred to the proposed single-payer system as “immensely complicated” and “expensive.” Both comments indicate that Mr. Hunt has no concept of the current expensive chaos that we call the American health care system.

Americans pay more per capita than any other nation on the planet. Despite the high price tag, Americans have lower life expectancy than most developed countries and the highest maternal death rate of any developed country. What’s more, roughly 30 million Americans lack health insurance.

Our current health insurance system is made up of both government (Medicare, Medicaid, Veterans Administration) as well as numerous private insurance companies, each with its own set of rules that seem to vary from day to day. The private insurance companies have their network of providers and hospitals with whom they contract for services. If your provider is “in network,” things may be OK, although there is always the concern that the insurance company may deny a claim. After all, the companies are businesses, and businesses make more money for their shareholders by denying claims.

So what would a single-payer system do? All Americans would be covered. No exceptions. There would be no “networks” and no denial of claims. There would be one set of rules that would apply to everyone in every state. The cost savings realized by elimination of the current administrative waste would actually pay for itself and make single-payer less expensive than our current system. In summary, single-payer would be less complicated and less expensive.

Don’t take my word for it. Visit www.pnhp.org for more information.

Paul Cook

Greenville

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