In regards to “Maine lawmakers to consider single-payer health care system” (Jan. 21), by Joe Lawlor, I feel that I must clarify points made by the proposal’s supporters.

For all of the faults the Affordable Care Act has, it may be the first step to fixing our broken health care system.

But the two main items that will help fix our system are allowing insurance sales over state lines, which will promote lower costs, and completely overhauling tort law. These are things that President Obama completely ignored.

With regards to single-payer, one need only look at countries that are already there. Mr. Lawlor mentioned the United Kingdom and Canada, both of which are in real trouble.

Both are supported by taxes, and both ration care and medicine, with citizens coming to America for the best health care in the world. Waiting lists in Canada for certain procedures are massive. This causes people to cross into the U.S. to seek help.

Second, many “single-payer” health care systems (socialized medicine) in the world are bankrupt. In England, France, Spain, Italy and others, the economic conditions are at the brink of insolvency, if not already there.

Medicare in the U.S. is operated by the government but paid for by the citizens and employers. Because of government interference with the money (the premiums are put into the U.S. Treasury general fund), they are close to running out and will need an infusion.

Right now, Congress gives Medicare a certain amount of its premiums to operate and keeps the rest.

If Medicare had been allowed to keep and invest all of its premiums over the years, it would be in great shape. But no, when Congress smells money, it grabs all it can.

Single-payer is not the way to go – better reform is!

Jim Towle

York