I read Dr. Daniel C. Bryant’s Maine Voices column (Dec. 5) with interest because I have often wondered what health care professionals think of Obamacare and Medicare.
The biggest problem with Obamacare is the requirement that all with pre-existing conditions be insured. This is impossible for private insurers, because insuring the previously uninsurable is a losing proposition.
The solution would be a true individual mandate through the payroll tax, requiring both employers and employees to contribute, as they do now for Medicare. In exchange, employers would no longer have to provide insurance plans, and employees would no longer have to pay premiums.
Those proposing alternatives say they want health care that is patient-centered but do not explain how our present health care is not. I have had personal experience with both private insurance (formerly through my employer) and public insurance (presently through Medicare). As a patient, I have always been at the center, whether in the doctor’s office or the hospital.
There is more freedom of choice with Medicare. Almost all providers take Medicare, but private insurers restrict you to their networks.
There are those who fear that government-run health insurance could lead to a socialist state in which freedom and personal ambition and energy would be diminished. This needn’t be so if we, through our elected representatives, refuse.
Nobody is proposing a government takeover of the hospitals, because no problem exists that would be solved by it. Two of the most popular government programs, Social Security and Medicare, are socialistic but work well in a capitalist economy.
Like Dr. Bryant, I advocate Medicare for all. I wish that all of my fellow citizens could enjoy the excellent health care that I receive. It would be good for the individual and good for society.
Michael P. Bacon