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That 'Medicare for all' won't be painless is no excuse not to try it

That 'Medicare for all' won't be painless is no excuse not to try it
A member of the audience holds up a placard as Sen. Bernie Sanders discusses "Medicare for all" legislation on Capitol Hill on Sept. 13, 2017. (AFP/Getty Images)

To the editor: As a Kaiser healthcare user, I applaud that company’s success in handling medical care and insurance. But it seems that Dr. Robert Pearl, the former Permanente Medical Group chief executive, attempts to discredit “Medicare for all” but actually states why and how we should begin implementation.

He says that “government-run programs work well for the rest of the world.” Americans pay far more for healthcare than people in other countries that have universal coverage, but we get worse results.

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Pearl believe government-run programs work well abroad because medical costs are lower outside the U.S. That tells us there is something we should learn from these countries about how to implement Medicare for all.

It will not be painless, and it is not socialism when private entities can provide and still profit from this care. But in the end it will help the people of this country.

Jim Matlock, Ventura

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To the editor: Kaiser members show their cards at any Kaiser facility, giving them access without having to fill out so many forms because their history is embedded electronically. A single-payer system would work similarly.

Lowering the Medicare eligibility age would still leave millions of people without health coverage. Single payer would provide that universal coverage. This means we would be taxed progressively instead of having a monthly premium, copay and deductible.

Healthcare is not free, but this form of paying for it means eliminating a lot of the bureaucracy and administrative costs. And, with everyone contributing, it levels the playing field.

If we are indeed the richest country in the world, the only things stopping us are our priorities and our attitudes.

Diane Welch, Cypress

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To the editor: Current Medicare is very good compared to other types of available insurance. It’s simple but not perfect.

It covers 80% of medical and hospital expenses, but the 20% not covered can easily cost tens of thousand dollars for certain procedures. Paying for these and other out-of-pocket expenses is not easy for many seniors.

Medicare for all would deal with these issues, but I agree it may not be implemented because private insurance companies will fight it tooth and nail to protect the current system and their profits.

Still, the idea that Democrats are talking about insurance as a right is a move in the right direction. Some positive changes may occur, even if a universal system is not realistically on the horizon.

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Domenico Maceri, San Luis Obispo

Follow the Opinion section on Twitter @latimesopinion and Facebook

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