In Allan Neff’s letter Wednesday, he mentions concerns with the cost of single-payer health care, citing the estimated costs, ranging from $2.4 trillion per year to $2.8 trillion per year. These concerns, relative to the revenue, are valid; sources of payments are necessary to finance a single-payer system.

However, in 2016, U.S. health care spending totaled $3.4 trillion, according to the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services, which we are all already paying. This means that a single-payer system might, in fact, lead to higher taxes, but the total would be less than the amount that we consumers are currently spending on our health insurance premiums and our employers are spending on health insurance contributions.

While conversation about the costs of health care is important, to ensure a legitimate comparison we should make sure we include not only costs of any new system, but also current and future costs under our present system.

Frank Jackson