A woman gives a man a COVID-19 test.
A health-care worker swabs a man at a walk-in COVID-19 test clinic in Montreal North, Sunday, May 10, 2020, as the COVID-19 pandemic continues in Canada and around the world. Credit: Graham Hughes / AP

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The recent column in the BDN concerning LD 1608 must not go unanswered. This piece of legislation intends to provide a single payer heath care system for the benefit of all Maine citizens. It would not establish government control of health care any more than insurance CEOs and hospital CEOs now control health care. It would simply and morally assure all citizens that their medical bills are covered.

The writers use the scare word “taxes.” Yes taxes may very well be raised. However,  a study by the Maine Center for Economic Policy found an overall savings for families: “For middle-income families, the average income gain would be $3,500 per year because of savings on insurance and out-of-pocket health costs.” No co-pays and no bankrupting hospital bills.

According to a study by Public Citizen using data from 1999, a comparison of U.S. versus Canadian per capita health care administrative costs show the following: Insurance overhead in the U.S. at $259, Canada at $47; hospital administration in the U.S. at $315, Canada at $108. Further, as a Public Citizen policy advocate told Congress in 2019, “If hospital administrative spending were brought in line with more efficient countries, the U.S. could save more than $150 billion…”

Health care is evaluated by outcomes. The Central Intelligence Agency report on Infant mortality rates show Slovenia as best in the world with a rate of 1.52 deaths per live births. The U.S. ranks more than 50 places lower with a rate of 5.17. Every country with at least some form of the proposed system ranks better than the U.S.

The writers’ incomes are derived from the present system. Is that their motivation for advocating to maintain it?

Andrew Sarto

Bangor