In response to the piece, “No new single-payer health care bill this year” by Ruth Schneider (Times-Standard, March 5, Page A2), some congratulations are in order: to Gov. Newsom, rededicating the new (Gov. Brown) commission to single payer; to state Sen. McGuire, promising to focus on implementing single payer, this time with funding written in; to Assemblymember Jim Wood, for backing these efforts; to the California nurses whose dedication to those that suffer is reflected in their tireless struggle to remake our health care system.
We know that single payer will save money (several trillion dollars over the next decade). We know it will give health care access to every resident, regardless of employment, age, preexisting conditions, and save thousands from bankruptcy, homelessness and death. We understand it will require additional taxes — with the huge compensation of never paying another insurance premium, co-pay or deductible — or ever paying another doctor or hospital bill.
We know that buying into corporate health insurance, whether individually or through an employer, means we are wasting one third of every dollar on profit and unnecessary administrative costs that add no value to our health care.
What we need to ascertain and implement is the political will, based on and impelled by public understanding of what is at stake, to do the right thing and remove from our shoulders the burden of our current fragmented, non-system of health care. Newsom, et al., are going in the right direction. They can be sure that millions of Californians applaud.
Patty Harvey, Willow Creek; director, Health Care for All/PNHP — Humboldt