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Letter: Single-payer health care is not the best choice

The July 15 Another Voice says, “The time’s right in New York for single-payer health care.” The writer of that column could not be more wrong.

While he has come up with multiple comparisons of (Canadian versus U.S.) taxes and finances, etc., he does not realize that he is comparing apples to oranges.

In the United States we have a different tort legal system. We have a bunch of (dumb) rules that constrain competition between insurers. There are many other variables that make equal comparisons virtually impossible. However, there are some known factors that can be compared.

Single-payer (such as in Canada) can be defined with two words: delay or deny. Canadian health care works best for those who have limited needs. Those who have immediate needs may be delayed. Those who desire elective surgery (such as joint reconstruction) will be delayed. And some delays turn into denial. Conversely, in the United States most patients can get the care they need or desire in a much shorter time frame.

Examination of Great Britain’s single-payer system (since 1947) shows that there are multiple instances of facilities being unmaintained, out of date and without the latest technology available. Part of this is due to government constraining spending and everything being decided by government bureaucrats. In the U.S. with private insurance, at least you can dispute and fight with your insurers. While the current system can and should be improved, “single-payer” health care in the United States would be nothing but another expensive, wasteful and inefficient bureaucracy.

Any United States citizen who wants “single-payer,” please feel free to move to Canada.

James Sterman

East Amherst

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