Single-payer health care system often misconstrued

Published: Friday, Dec. 20, 2013 - 7:10 am

Re “Let government run all health care” (Forum, Letters, Dec. 15): The headline for a recent letter advocating a single-payer solution for our country’s health insurance problem perpetuates a basic misunderstanding of that insurance concept. The headline states “Let the government run all health care.” This could not be further from the truth. As practiced in Canada, Taiwan and other advanced economies of the world, a government agency offers health insurance to the public, but not health care. Actual health care is offered by a combination of sources, including private nonprofits like Sutter Health or Kaiser Permanente, faith-based nonprofits like Dignity Health, university-based nonprofits like UC Davis Medical Center, and community-based nonprofits, which exist in many smaller towns in the United States. It is unfortunate that the single-payer solution, which has passed a statewide election in Vermont, is often misunderstood in this way.

-- Daniel Braunstein, Davis

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