The problem with a single-payer healthcare system in the US

We live in an age of absolutes, where health insurance is fallaciously equated with healthcare, where progressives disdain the private sector and put all trust in the federal bureaucracy while conservatives instinctively distrust the federal Leviathan. The sausage-making with respect to the Affordable Care Act, or ObamaCare, gave a bad name to our legislative procedures, but no worse than what we recently witnessed on the Republican side. Yes, governing for over 300 million Americans is messy, and it is preposterous to believe that our solons will ever agree on a unanimous way forward. That is why opinions will eventually congeal behind a single-payer system to make it happen.

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While a single-payer healthcare system may relieve progressive dyspepsia, it will leave others with extreme distress. All doctors are familiar with distortions of care associated with insurance for all paid for by some. My favorite story involves an emergency room stint one day while serving in our military. I saw a woman who qualified for free care by virtue of her husband’s military status. I introduced myself and asked what brought her to the base hospital’s emergency room. She asked me to check her throat. When I inquired when it began to hurt, she answered that it didn’t hurt but that it was Tuesday and she always does grocery shopping at the commissary on Tuesday and thought she would have her throat checked. I asked, so like checking the oil in your car? Yes, she answered. I dutifully looked at her throat, pronounced it the finest I had seen that day and sent her on her satisfied way.

When single-payer healthcare arrives in our fair land and everything is “free,” we should anticipate an epidemic of throat checks.

From Paul Bloustein, M.D., Cincinnati, Ohio


Networks should bring late-night TV to the United States' heartland

I don’t watch late-night TV. I go to bed early. But I’ve been told that every night the hosts of these shows try to outdo each other by lambasting President Trump, who has only been in office for a little over 100 days. Their studio audiences wildly applaud their approval. I looked up where these TV shows are filmed and from where the majority of their studio audiences come. I wasn’t surprised that they are all filmed in New York City and Los Angeles:

• “The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon,” NBC, New York City

• “The Late Show with Stephen Colbert,” CBS, New York City

• “Jimmy Kimmel Live,” ABC, Los Angeles

• “Late Night with Seth Meyers,” NBC, New York

• “Late Late Show with James Corden,” CBS, Los Angeles

I would like to invite, or dare, these hosts to take their shows on the road and come to the heartland — flyover country — and try out their presidential lambasting on real people who would make up the audience. I won’t be holding my breath for any of them to do so. They don’t have the guts — nor the talent.

From Charles M. Prignano, Colorado Springs. Colo.


Republicans shame America, again

The Republicans’ TrumpCare vote in Congress was a national disgrace. Their fake “healthcare” is a glaring greedy tax cut for the rich that will quietly kill old, sick and poor Americans. Republicans’ smallness and hypocrisy merged with President Trump’s lies and childish self-obsession — mission accomplished.

Republicans’ empty “victory” will haunt then through the 2020 elections.

From Michael Gregoire, Louisville, Ky.