To the editor: When the Supreme Court handed down its Hobby Lobby decision, I was glad — glad because it would be the start of our country realizing how insane it is to link business and healthcare. ("The Hobby Lobby case proves the necessity of single-payer healthcare," July 1)
I know that offering medical care to workers began as a perk, but having started something is no reason to carry on with an insane system that has made our medical care outrageously and unnecessarily expensive.
Medical care must be made affordable to all, without having businesses get in the way. Our current system is outrageous and makes a mockery of our belief that we are a country not founded on religious demands. We should be a country that takes care of its sick and needy whoever they are and whatever they believe.
Shirley Sacks, Beverly Hills
To the editor: The Supreme Court upheld a challenge to part of the Affordable Care Act that applies to a tiny percentage of the population — employed women who cannot afford one of three abortifacients and who are working for small corporations owned by religious people.
Compared to the enormous waivers and extensions granted by the administration, this is nothing. But for Michael Hiltzik, it shows the system has been so shattered that it is time to dump it and adopt a single-payer scheme similar to Canada's, Britain's and France's.
But none of those countries has a true single-payer system, as they all have insurance and private doctors for those who want more than the minimum that the government doles out. They call it "going private," an option of full treatment limited to the rich.
David Goodwin, Los Angeles
To the editor: I agree with Hiltzik that a single-payer system would eliminate the myriad legal and financial loopholes, inconsistencies and confusions of the Affordable Care Act. I hope his vital media voice will correct public misinformation and misunderstandings of "Medicare for all."
A single-payer system is not government-managed or government-controlled healthcare. It is not a government-funded entitlement but rather a taxpayer-funded benefit that aging workers have earned.
It is true that children and teens would be part of a single-payer system before contributing money to it. However, most youth will not incur high medical expenses, and if all adults invest some tax dollars into the system instead of private insurance, there should be enough care to go around.
I hope enlightened journalists and commentators find effective, descriptive words to convert public fear to awareness, and to a willingness to urge their legislators to enact reforms.
Susan Braig, Altadena
To the editor: A single-payer system would be a significant advance from what we have now. The partisan divisions created in the wake of the Hobby Lobby decision have pitted employers against employees.
To avoid partisan rifts under a single-payer approach, I prefer the idea suggested by Ezra Klein of a health review board patterned after Maryland's Health Services Cost Review Commission: A governor appoints volunteer commissioners to lengthy terms, and their decisions cannot be overruled by elected officials.
No matter what system we create, as a woman, I do not wish to subordinate my constitutional access to full reproductive healthcare to the whims of party politics.