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Cut Out the Middlemen

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Editor:

As the recent Views piece on Medicare Advantage (MA) and Direct Contracting Entities (DCEs) clearly illustrates, it is only original Medicare that remains a public good ("Is Medicare a Public Good or a Market Commodity?," March 3). MA and DCEs are already market commodities. Why is it not obvious that simplifying payment for health care by cutting out the middlemen saves money and saves lives?

The Congressional Budget Office recently released "findings" that wages would go up once employers no longer had to funnel money into private health insurance plans for their employees. Increased wages result in increased income tax, which benefits the government. Households' health insurance premiums would be eliminated, and their out-of-pocket health care costs would go down. Administrative expenses in the healthcare sector of the economy would decline, which would free up productive resources for other sectors and, ultimately, increase productivity. People would be healthier, live longer and work more as their health improved.

Given these benefits, one has to wonder why the Biden administration continues to back the Band-Aid effects of the ACA, underwritten by corporate health insurance companies, without noticing what the Congressional Budget Office has now made crystal clear: Simplifying payment for health care by cutting out middlemen will save money and save lives. Yes, even the Republican-led CBO knows this.

Carol Moné, Trinidad

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