I agree with Justin Vernold’s Oct. 19 commentary on the Affordable Care Act: It doesn’t address the fundamental problem facing our health care system. In some ways, it makes things worse by requiring us to buy insurance from the very companies that have been ripping us off. That said, it will extend coverage to millions, and I’m glad for that.
It’s odd that Republicans so virulently opposes ACA. It was cooked up by the right-wing Heritage Foundation, and first enacted by a Republican governor (Mitt Romney). It’s built on private enterprise, which the GOP usually likes.
But all of us have good reason to dislike the plan. It is outrageously costly and inefficient. It worsens the system’s tortuous bureaucracy. Most of us don’t want to “shop” for a health plan — especially if we’re sick or old. We don’t want to pay deductibles. We just want to get all medically necessary care, and I think that should be our right.
The U.S. should join the rest of the industrialized world and adopt a public, national health care system. We have two options. Both have proven, in country after country, to be vastly more effective and cheap than our confusing patchwork of public and private programs.
One option is a single-payer plan, in which the federal government is the sole insurer. This would be like an improved, all-public version of Medicare for everyone. Or we could choose a system in which not only the insurance, but the health care itself, is socialized, as in our VA system. Systems like the UK’s cover everyone, have outstanding health outcomes, and cost less than half what we pay in the U.S. Wow.
Let’s take the profit and bureaucracy out of healthcare.