To the editor:
The cost of health care is a top concern for many Minnesotans. High administrative costs is only one reason for the outrageous cost. Insurance and Pharma require extreme and unnecessary bureaucracy for patients and providers. This causes great financial burden and stress for individuals, families and businesses. I can personally attest to this. Almost one-third ($3.3 trillion) of health spending in our country is related to administrative waste due to the bureaucracy (complexity) of our multi-payer system. Medical debt is the leading cause of personal bankruptcy in the United States, even for people who have insurance. Approximately 45,000 deaths per year are attributed to lack of access to health care.
There is no evidence that single-payer systems result in low quality and poor health care outcomes. According to data from the Commonwealth Fund which compares health outcomes, the U.S. rates near the bottom. This proves our market-based system is not delivering best quality or the lowest cost. Every study done so far over the last 30 years shows that costs to individuals, families and the government go down, not up under some form of universal coverage system. Total health spending in the U.S. is two to three times that of other developed countries for significantly inferior results.
We do not "shop" for health care the same way we shop for food, clothing or cellphones.
The medical-industrial market is distorted, dysfunctional and inaccessible for most Minnesotans. I know because I live with a disabling chronic disease every day of my life. None of us know when we will experience a life-changing injury or diagnosis. We need a system that provides guaranteed health security for all.
When we call for police or fire protection they don't ask for an insurance card. This is a service we agree that we need and we get regardless of our income or insurance.
Minnesota has a health plan ready to go. It is time to agree and offer health care for all Minnesotans and the country as a whole.