LETER: Single-payer systems excel in England, Canada, even the U.S.

To Ozaukee Press:

I grew up in England during the 1950s as the National Health Service was just beginning. I came to America in 1961 and was astonished that there was nothing similar here. When I expressed my surprise and concern for those who could not afford the insurance I was having to pay for, I was accused of being a socialist, or worse, a communist.

Since then I have had intimate contact with both England’s single payer system and Canada’s. In England, my father died of lung cancer, my mother had breast cancer and my sister had uterine cancer; in Canada my husband suffered from Parkinson’s disease and my stepson had an accident resulting in a broken foot and ankle requiring multiple surgeries.

At no time was there any concern about going to the doctor, any doctor or any hospital. The cost of the treatment, from surgery to rehabilitation, was never considered. In every case where the diagnoses involved a life-threatening condition, treatment was started within a week. Trips to the emergency room for my husband, frequent towards the end of his life, usually resulted in a stay of a week or more. The only bill I ever saw was for the ambulance.

So it is difficult to listen to the uninformed criticism leveled at these single-payer systems. I have been fortunate in having coverage through employers, and I am now on Medicare; but I have seen bills from an out-patient surgery I recently required for over $15,000. Without Medicare I could not have afforded this treatment.

Gov. Evers is now trying to get federal Medicaid expansion funds to provide this same kind of coverage for our low-income, uninsured Wisconsin citizens.  

Medicare has proven to be both successful and effective for seniors, and is, let’s face it, a single-payer system.

Catherine F. Brown
Port Washington

 

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Ozaukee Press

Wisconsin’s largest paid circulation community weekly newspaper. Serving Port Washington, Saukville, Grafton, Fredonia, Belgium, as well as Ozaukee County government. Locally owned and printed in Port Washington, Wisconsin.

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Port Washington, WI 53074
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