I am writing to you on another of my favorite subjects, which is single-payer health care. The tea party line is, “I do not want my government between me and my doctor.” My response to them is: Right now we have the insurance company between me and my doctor.

No fat-cat CEO should decide what medical treatment I need or what medicine I need. That is the job of a health care professional: my doctor.

Another myth that the tea party spreads is that it will cost our government more money. All of the European countries have single-payer health care. What it means is that we pay taxes into the system; the money then gets paid out for our health care needs. The doctors in England, I happen to know for sure, get rewarded to keep their patients healthy, which means preventative health care. And it will not cost We The People more; most of us are paying lots of money to cover our health insurance. Every year my insurance goes up: Right now, over $600 dollars a month to cover my doctor plus eye care and dental care for my husband and myself. My husband has to pay insurance for his prescription coverage, which has just gone up; also my co-pay has doubled.

If I lived in England, where I was born, and which has single-payer, I would not pay a penny for a doctor. Plus, as I am over 60, I would not pay a penny for my prescription medicine. Another myth is you have to wait—well, that is half a myth. It is true that if the visit is non-essential you will have to wait, but if it is life-threatening there is no wait involved. We need single-payer health care. Let’s get rid of insurance companies.—Sue Smiley, Goleta


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