By Maureen Dion-Perry in Letters to the Editor of Mountain Democrat

We cannot fix our broken health care system with more tweaks. Premiums, co-pays and deductibles are too high. We can save a lot of money by negotiating drug prices and cutting out the high administrative costs of insurance companies.
Contact your senators and representatives to tell them the time is now.
Here are a few facts for you.
*Medicare was signed into law on July 30, 1965. In less than a year, the program signed up 19 million seniors, 99 percent of those eligible, without the help of computers. Medicare now enrolls 10,000 new Americans every day.
*More than three-quarters of Americans consider Medicare to be a “very important” program, including a strong majority of Republicans and Democrats. Improving access to affordable, quality health care is a non-partisan issue.
*Medicare is simple and efficient, with administrative overhead of just over 3 percent, compared to about 30 percent for private insurers.
*We could solve America’s health care crisis by improving Medicare’s benefits and expanding it to everyone with a single-payer plan like H.R. 676, The Expanded & Improved Medicare for All Act at the federal level or SB562 – Medicare for all in California.

*There have been many costly proposals to increase insurance coverage, mostly by subsidizing private insurance. But single-payer Medicare for all would save an estimated $617 billion annually by slashing the administrative waste of private insurance ($504 billion) and bargaining down drug prices ($113 billion), freeing up enough money for universal coverage without any net increase in U.S. health spending. We can’t afford not to adopt single payer. Next year premiums are projected to go up around 8 percent. This cannot continue.
*The government won’t take over health care — you will get comprehensive benefits: medical, dental and vision, and mental health. You can see the doctors and providers of your choice. No more networks. Doctors would be paid fairly and reduce their costly administrative expenses and save time hassling with insurance companies. They will have more time for patients.
Think about it. Thank you for listening

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