The solution is hiding in plain sight ("Newsom's Move," Feb. 4).
As more and more Americans across the political aisle demand Medicare for All, its opponents are sowing more and more fear, uncertainty and doubt among us. The very language of "Medicare for All" is being co-opted into confusing and contradictory smokescreens of ineffective and desperate faux solutions. Now we have "Medicare for Everyone," "Medicare Extra," "Medicare X" and nearly a dozen similar off-brand diversions.
Single payer Medicare for All is an elegantly simple concept. Take a program with more than 50 years of success (Medicare), eliminate the copays and deductibles, add pharmacy, dental and other essential benefits, and give it to every person in America. The savings from reduced bureaucracy and better pricing mean that the nation would spend less overall, even according to a recent study funded by the Koch brothers. Sure, taxes would increase. But that's more than offset by the elimination of premiums and other personal expenses — and it would mean that the overwhelming majority of Americans would spend less and get more.
It's not too good to be true. Every other modern nation has come up with its own version of this, and that's one of the reasons they're beating American workers on the international marketplace. We can do better. We must do better.
Unfettered access to healthcare is vitally important. It can keep us well, save our lives and protect us from bankruptcy. But beyond those essentials, we must deal with our healthcare crisis because it exposes fundamental threats to our democracy. The American Dream is rapidly fading, and it's taking with it our commitments to community, liberty, justice and equality.
Single-payer Medicare for All is the best way forward — the only viable way forward — for our healthcare. Democracy is the best way forward for our nation. These two challenges are inextricably intertwined.
Please, join me and Timothy Faust in an engaging discussion on Thursday, April 11, in Humboldt State University's Kate Buchanan Room. Doors open at 5 p.m. and presentations start at 5:30. Free admission includes snacks! Sponsored by Associated Students and HCA/PNHP-Humboldt.
Ed Weisbart, St. Louis, Missouri