To the Editor:
In response to the March 20, 2019, letter āSingle-payer health insurance would take away patient choice,ā by Rhett Cox:
As a bartender in the past, I spent many years listening to peopleās worries. Health care is personal for almost everyone, myself included. My husband also has diabetes, and despite his being on Medicare, it cost us $6,700 last year. Like Mr. Cox, my husbandās life depends on daily treatment.
I have the cheapest insurance I can find with a $4,000 deductible. Last year, our added out-of-pocket approached $9,000 because I got sick. This year, Iāll try to avoid doctors, as most do when faced with bill after bill, above your monthly premium.
Working-class people, like us, are hurt the most. If anything really bad happens, we could lose all our savings or even our home.
Iāve read that health insurance profits have caused soaring stock prices. Since 2014, average stocks are up 50 percent, but health insurance stocks like Cigna and Humana have more than doubled, while United and Anthem have tripled. Out of every dollar I pay in premiums, 30 cents is wasted ā on paperwork, executive salaries, pricey marketing. To protect their profits and the current system, the āhealth sectorā spent $500 million on 3,300 lobbyists last year, five for every one member of Congress.
The New York Health Act means Improved-Medicare-for-all ā all essential medical care, no premiums, no out-of-pocket. Yes, weāll contribute, as with Medicare, through graduated taxes, but 90 percent of us will pay less for healthcare. No network restrictions. Patients will choose the nurses and doctors they want, and make healthcare decisions with them, not insurance company bureaucrats.
Itās curious to me why anyone would want to fight a system that would cover everyone for less. The private insurance companies will still be there to take your money for additional services if you need them. But your insurance will not be employer-based or private and astronomically priced. Everybody in, nobody out.
We need the New York Health Act to save our money and our lives. Learn more: NYHCampaign.org.
To the Editor:
Thank you, Rhett Cox, for sharing your concerns about the New York Health Act (āāSingle-payer health insurance would take away patient choice,ā,ā March 20, 2019). First, New Y Health will give you more choice in practitioners, both generalists and specialists. Diabetics, whose bodies change over time, need internists, endocrinologists and ophthalmologists to prevent this autoimmune disease from ravaging their bodies and depleting their finances. Twenty years ago, insulin and supplies cost about $1,000 per year. Today, itās $8,000.
High costs cause almost 40 percent of New Yorkers with chronic diseases to use less medication than prescribed and delay seeing doctors.
Single-payer NY Health Act will solve that. How? Itās a payment system, not a delivery system. Just like with Medicare, doctors and hospitals will send their bills to the New York Health Trust, not to dozens of for-profit insurers. You (or your employer-based healthcare plan) will pay into the trust through a graduated tax. The system is self-financing: 90 percent of us will pay less for healthcare than we are paying now ā and all of us will be covered better than any policy offered now.
There will be a health commission, yes, composed of healthcare professionals who will determine evidence-based protocols. All āessential healthcareā will be covered —and all financial obstacles to care eliminated.
Finally, healthcare isnāt a āfree market.ā I donāt choose a doctor by price. I choose a doctor I trust ā to know what to do and who else to consult.
New York Health is accountable only to the public. Doctors and nurses, not insurance companies, decide your care. This ensures that private profit no longer endangers public health.