The recent letter to this column written by Alfred J. Wright, government affairs manager for HealthNow New York Inc., concerning the catastrophic economic and health care consequences to New York residents and to the entire nation should either go to a single payer health plan does not deserve to go unanswered before Election Day.
First, to put things in perspective a little about HealthNow New York Inc. and who they really represent: BlueCross Blue Shield is a division of HealthNow NY, which is a subsidiary of Health Now Systems Inc., a privately held company. Who do you think privately held conglomerates such as this one really represent and what do they stand to lose should we citizens inside of New York and beyond ever obtain a health care system that works for everyone and can be made affordable? Relying on industry spin doctors such as Wright is not the solution to our health care woes.
I would like to rebut two of the major reasons cited for why a single payer plan will not work:
“Single payer is government run health care.” Wrong. Under a single payer system you get a health care card and you can go to any doctor or hospital in the United States. Doctors are not employees of the government. Hospitals remain in private hands. You get free choice of doctor and hospital.
“Drugs will be more difficult to get and more expensive.” Wrong. For many new drugs much medical research is funded by the National Institutes of Health. Also, drug prices will be negotiated, not dictated to.
Edward F. McKee