To the editor: I applaud George Skelton for his superb analysis of legislation that would create a single-payer universal healthcare system in California. ("Single-payer healthcare in California? Time to take a cold shower and return to the real world," May 25)
The question for Lt. Gov. Gavin Newson and others pushing for a socialist-style system has always been how do they pay for it. Perhaps Newson can borrow the wisdom of Fidel Castro and Hugo Chavez. Apple alone has nearly $300 billion in cash; with the other successful tech giants in the state, Newsom could "nationalize" one company each year to pay for his health system.
Even if you tax the one-percenters 90% of their earned income, you still wouldn't have enough money to pay for a single-payer system in California.
Howard C. Mandel, MD, Los Angeles
Skelton's analysis is misleading.
He mentions that public money already pays $200 billion of the projected $400 billion cost, but he leaves out that employers in the state currently pay up to $150 billion. And there is no mention at all of the premiums, deductibles and copays paid by individuals.
All of this money would go into the single-payer fund.
Skelton also makes no mention of the elimination of insurance company profits and billions in administrative waste, which would drastically reduce the overall costs that the system would need to cover.
There are financial challenges to any systemic transition, but they are not nearly as severe as Skelton purports.
Adam Gorgoni, Los Angeles