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Letter: Nation should provide Medicare for everyone

Nation should provide Medicare for everyone

After grandstanding to their base with repeated votes repealing the Affordable Care Act, Republicans are scrambling for a replacement while already working to eliminate popular key features, threatening Medicare and defunding Medicaid and Planned Parenthood. I might consider a serious alternative if all GOP congressmen are required to accept it in place of their current government-provided benefits, but …

Search Republican websites, even Paul Ryan’s, for any serious proposal and you find only vague ideas such as legalizing interstate insurance, (permitting cheap substandard policies to bypass state consumer protections), tax credits or “vouchers” for private health insurance, benefiting only the wealthy without actually providing any actual basic health care or controlling costs. Vouchers are simply coupons, and if the product (health care policy) is out of reach due to a pre-existing condition or cost, vouchers are valueless.

Believing government programs are all bad, while private “free markets” are good, assumes that commodities are supplied to fully informed buyers with prices determined by supply and demand. Health care, though, is no commodity and consumers are far from fully informed. Medicare for all, funded by a modest dedicated tax, clearly is the lowest-cost alternative and is already well proven to provide universal care at reasonable cost. Bernie was right!

Richard Clements


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