Letter: Now is the time for single-payer health care

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Orlando Delogu, in his recent column on the latest Republican health-care plan (Policy Wonk: “Bad health care legislation was made worse – then it passed the house”), lays out its many problems. But he doesn’t go nearly far enough. Its main flaw is that it is not a health-care plan at all. It is a tax-break plan, primarily for the rich, which happens to use health care as its vehicle.

How could something that takes away health care from millions of people, does away with essential elements of coverage that any of us might unpredictably need at any moment, does not guarantee coverage for people with pre-existing conditions, does nothing to control costs, and allows large increases to patient share of costs – all while siphoning vast sums to the rich – be considered a health plan?

Candidate Trump promised a health plan that would be better than Obamacare; one that would cover everyone at least as well, and cost less. This does exactly the opposite. Though Obamacare needs some improvement, it is a huge step in the right direction. It allowed millions of people access to comprehensive health care they could never afford before due to our market-driven system.

Now is the time to finally join the rest of the developed world and change to the only system that can actually work: single payer. Anyone who is interested is invited to see a free film on the pros and cons of single-payer systems at the main branch of the Portland Public Library, at 5:30 p.m. on June 6.

Nancy O’Hagan