As a family physician who has cared for Idahoans without and with health insurance since 1991, I can assure Rep. Raul Labrador that many Idahoans have died when they delayed or declined care because they could not afford it. Supporting my observations is a New England Journal of Medicine study showing for every 455 people who obtain Medicaid insurance, one life is saved per year.
Given the moral imperative of providing health care to all Americans, i.e. if we do not, more Americans will die unnecessarily early, single payer makes fair and fiscal sense. This is not as Rep. Mike Simpson said in a letter to me, a “Veterans Administration” type plan. It is more along the line of Medicare where people pay in from their paychecks and then when eligible can choose their doctors, drug plans and facilities.
Single payer makes fiscal sense. Employers will no longer bear the burden of paying for health care, a major reason why salaries are not increasing and firms are relocating overseas. Second, the clout of single payer allows price negotiations with Big Pharma and health facilities. Rand Corp. study estimates single payer will save $556 billion in administrative overhead and pharmaceutical costs.
Dr. Laura Tirrell, Boise