Kudos to Dr. Chuck Radis for his July 28 Maine Voices column (“Single-payer system – Medicare for All – is the only remedy for U.S.”). It gives an example of how our health care system is too expensive, too complicated and a failure on all counts. An expanded Medicare system would ensure all Americans good health care – a right every citizen in every other civilized country is entitled to.

Some facts about Medicare:

n It is not socialized medicine. One can choose their own physician or treatment center. Most people on Medicare are very pleased with the program.

n Some say Canadians have to wait for treatment, so they come to the U.S. Remember that we, too, have to wait for an appointment that does not require immediate attention. Some Canadians do come to the U.S. for certain specialized procedures, just as we Americans sometimes have to go to another state for special procedures. (Boston?) Emergency cases are tended to right away in both countries.

n Medicare would require a raise in taxes. Yes, but we would not be paying huge amounts for private health insurance. Also, the administrative costs for single-payer would be significantly lower than those of insurance companies.

n There are fears that insurance companies would go bust. As Dr. Radis pointed out, they could still provide supplemental insurance, and private insurance for those who might opt out of Medicare.

Big advantage of Medicare: It would provide bargaining power to drive down costs of procedures, treatments and prescription drugs.

Now is the time for universal health care. Let’s do the right thing.

Janet S. Houghton

Cape Elizabeth

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