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It's reckless for progressives to dismiss concerns over funding single payer as 'trolling'

To the editor: Call me a nitpicker, but yes, I am concerned about who will pay for single payer. I would love to see such a system in this country, but which Republican members of the House are going to vote to raise taxes or borrow money to pay for it? (“There are 3 types of single-payer ‘concern trolls’ — and they all want to undermine universal healthcare,” Opinion, Sept. 21)

Adam H. Johnson notes that Congress approved a 13% increase in our already bloated military budget from 2017, an $80 billion increase that could cover college tuition for every public university student for a year.

This is a great point, so I’ll use it to make a great suggestion: Let’s take that money out of the military budget and put it toward single payer.

Larry Arnstein, Santa Monica


To the editor: Please allow me to add my “famous road paved with good intentions does not lead to single-payer nirvana” troll to Johnson’s list:

Sen. Bernie Sanders’ bill is a political stunt that’s only serving to divide the left. It would probably not receive the support of 16 senators if it were going to pass; they all understand that Johnson’s “nuance,” “deficit” and “feasibility” trolls are exponentially harder to solve than his hand-waving would have you believe.

Sanders’ proposal would affect about one-sixth of the U.S. economy, part of which would move from the private sector to the federal government. It’s an understatement to say this transition is fraught with peril.

Johnson is absolutely right that we can afford universal coverage, and it must be a very high priority for Democrats. But there are achievable and far better ways of getting there. Letting people buy into Medicare — a public option — and (as Sanders proposes) lowering the eligibility age to 55 would be a great start.

Nick Batzdorf, Sherman Oaks

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