Letter: Single-payer financing the best answer for health system

Published 8:07 pm Tuesday, August 25, 2020

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Your candidate Q and A for District 27A (Aug. 22) is an excellent overview of where Rep. Peggy Bennett and Tom Martinez stand on health care.

Rep. Bennett’s vision for an ideal medical system is terrific in intent but has implications she has not thought through. She envisions more competition among providers, greater access, lower costs, close doctor-patient relations and a compassionate mission. So far, so good!

What is the best way to achieve these laudable goals? Rep. Bennett would be surprised to learn that a universal health care system based on single-payer financing would be her best answer.

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If we extracted the profitable health insurers and funded medical needs as we do our schools and fire departments, our sky-high administrative costs would drop considerably. Without the networks imposed by insurers, Rep. Bennett would get that competition among providers she desires because we could go to any licensed doctor or hospital. Further, the imposition on the doctor-patient relationship called “prior authorization” and “utilization review,” imposed by the insurers, would go away. Our doctors would be free to prescribe what is best for us without an insurer looking over their shoulder.

I urge Rep. Bennett to study the health care system options with a more open mind.

Joel Clemmer

St. Paul