LETTER: Medicare certainly needs work, but single payer’s not the way to go

In part, this letter is in reply to an April 20 column in the Peninsula Daily News by Thursday columnist Catherine Rampell: “The Appeal Of Medicare For All.”

She gave no details on how everyone would mesh into the program.

First, a few observations: Health care is a little like the colt that grew up.

In 1970, according to the Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation, it was 7 percent of the gross domestic product, but because of all the wonderful advances in medical science and care, in 2008, according to www.data.worldbank.org, it was 16 percent.

I believe that many non-retired people think Medicare is “free.”

Basic coverage is, but if you add Parts B, D and Supplemental, it can approach $5,000 a year per person, according to what I pay, and this doesn’t include long-term-care insurance, as Medicare only covers a limited amount of nursing home costs.

People who are now retired had been paying into the system for some years via payroll deductions, yet forecasts indicate it will have major funding problems in the near future.

I agree that health care funding needs to be addressed, it is a very complicated issue and I don’t have all the answers.

But making the government full-coverage single payer for all ages would require a huge increase in the government’s budget.

Fredrick Clemens,

Port Angeles