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Opinion

Letters to the Editor: Why ‘Medicare for all’ and employer-based health insurance cannot coexist

Medicare for All
Protesters supporting “Medicare for all” hold a rally in Washington on April 29.
(Win McNamee / Getty Images)

To the editor: Beware the law of unintended consequences. (“Democrats ask if Americans are ready to give up job-based health coverage,” Aug. 2)

Several of the Democrat presidential candidates suggest that “Medicare for all” can coexist with employer-provided health insurance. That assumes employers would continue to offer insurance.

I remember when President Reagan said the American worker is smart enough to manage his own retirement plan, with employers continuing to fund pensions. Great idea! Problem was, employers began offering 401(k) plans, and eventually they got rid of their pension programs.

Skip forward to today. If Medicare for all becomes a reality, will employers continue to offer health insurance? Will they happily agree to shell out billions of dollars to fund private programs when a public program is easily available?

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As economist Milton Friedman famously said, corporations exist solely to enhance profitability. What better way to do that than by cutting health insurance?

The Affordable Care Act was a good start. Instead of repealing and replacing it, it should be refined and enhanced. Let’s not throw out the good for the hoped-for perfect.

John Goodman, Oak Park

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To the editor: Twenty or so Democratic candidates cannot agree on what type of health plan to support. The fact is that none of us voters cares.

What we want is to be able to get whatever care we need and not pay more than a minimal amount. We do not want to be penalized for preexisting conditions, and we do not want to wait months for care.

Let the new Congress work out the details.

John Laguna, Dana Point


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