Letters to the Editor

Don’t believe scare tactics about single-payer health care

The Fresno Bee

Single-payer care

Re “In single-payer health coverage, consider how much taxes would increase” (Viewpoints, May 7): Don’t be fooled by insurance company scare tactics!

I lived in France for 13 years, and my taxes were no higher than they are here. Their single-payer system is funded by premiums deducted from workers’ paychecks, just like here, except that the money goes to the “Medicare for all” program, which pays the bills. People who don’t work because they have other sources of income can buy an individual premium from the government. These premiums make up 87 percent of the revenue sources. The other 13 percent of revenues come from income taxes and “luxury taxes” on tobacco, gambling, etc.

I had the best health care of my life in France. There was no rationing, no waits for treatment. Care providers are private, not government run, and I could see any doctor I wanted. Let’s join the rest of the civilized countries by implementing a civilized health care system.

Lindy Rice, Rio Linda

Health care costs

I had to laugh out loud when reading Jim Wunderman’s scare piece on the costs of single-payer health care. I’ve had the dubious honor of being part of the private health insurance market for almost two decades. My husband and I used to pay $300 for our combined health care policy in 2001. Now that’s risen almost 500 percent to $1,700 a month – at that rate, we’ll be paying $3,300 a month by the time my husband is eligible for Medicare. More if the Republicans get their way with Trumpcare.

And what do we get for that increase? Higher co-pays for all of our services. We’d happily pay a little higher tax rate to ensure coverage that doesn’t increase by 10 to 20 percent every year. Where do I sign up?

J. Scott Coatsworth, Sacramento

Canadian care

California has 3 million more people than Canada; we have the sixth-largest economy in the world; and we can’t afford single-payer health care? Hogwash.

Canada has had single-payer for over 50 years. Single-payer health care just needs some politicians with courage. Everyone needs to pay a fair share for the plan, even the super rich. Leave the insurance companies out, build it on the Kaiser Permanente model and implement it all at once, not piecemeal. We don’t need the federal government or its permission.

Fay Slater, Sacramento

Single-payer costs

The author fails to mention the many savings a California single-payer health care system would create for all consumers.

We would not have to pay the overhead costs of private health insurance processing, which costs as much as the total cost of physician and registered nurse salaries. So his threat that these professionals would be paid less is a scare tactic. So is his “more taxes” canard.

A single-payer system will be simpler, cheaper and, quite clearly, less bureaucratic than how the current private insurance mess does it now. And employers should welcome a California single-payer system because they can get out of this distraction from running their businesses.

Karl Jaensch, Carmichael

Racial profiling

Re “Racial profiling is real, and this is the only way to stop it” (Forum, Erika D. Smith, May 7): I’m so sick and tired of columnists in The Bee frequently ranting and raving against police and law enforcement officers. Pounding the reader relentlessly with their own personal prejudice that city police and county sheriff officers are blatantly, persecuting racially profiled persons.

Enough already! I’ve experienced and observed many such incidences that get labeled profiling. Yet the person doing the accusing displayed openly and flagrantly disrespect, disregard, defiance and disobedience in attitude and action toward the officers. If you dress like, look like and act like a street thug, then why would you be surprised when you are assumed likely to be a criminal?

Persons in law enforcement know each workday they are but one mistake away from being blown away if they make a wrong or bad judgment about suspicious people encountered on the streets.

Stop eroding our first line of defense against criminals ruling our streets.

J.B. McClain, Fair Oaks

Desalination plant

Re “Desalination plant is just a boondoggle” (Forum, Another View, May 7): Everyone is entitled to their own opinions. State law assigns the authority to determine the “need” for a drinking water supply to local public officials. Orange County’s demand for seawater desalination is indisputably documented in the county’s urban water and groundwater management plans, and the Orange County Water District has taken the added step of approving a term sheet to purchase the Huntington Beach project’s 50 million-gallon-per-day capacity.

Construction of the plant will be 100 percent privately financed. Water users will only pay for the water if it is produced at the quantity and quality specified in a fixed-price contract.

The Carlsbad desalination plant – an inconvenient truth for climate change deniers and desalination technology luddites – has successfully reduced the need to import water from Northern California by providing regional water supply self-reliance in an environmentally responsible manner.

Scott Maloni, Carlsbad, vice president, Poseidon Water

Cigarette tax

Re “How to spend state’s cigarette tax” (Editorials, May 7): I think it is critical that the $2 tax added to the cost of a pack of cigarettes be applied toward its intended purpose of increasing the low reimbursement rates that Medi-Cal providers receive.

With the expansion of Medi-Cal due to the Affordable Care Act, the number of providers offering services to beneficiaries also needs to increase. It is difficult for providers to accept Medi-Cal patients knowing they will not get full reimbursement.

Reimbursement rates need to be increased.

Raymond Robinson, Sacramento

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