Letters to the Editor

Use Medicare, VA as care models

We should use Medicare as a model for health care reform instead of Canada. Public insurance pools will improve the quality of life for millions and end the tyranny of private insurance. Few propose creating a national health care system like Canada's or the U.K.'s.

Veterans Affairs is the closest analogy. The VA is ranked the nation's best health care system in spite of bad press for wounded veterans, blame for which arguably resides with the most inept president in U.S. history.

The writer of "Should the U.S. use Canada as a health care reform model? No: System rations health care, denies treatments" (Aug. 19, Page B-7) offered personal anecdotes to criticize Canadian health care and a sound bite from the Canadian Supreme Court that "Access to a waiting list is not access to health care." The Canadian court's decision did not abolish the one-payer system; it reinforced it by giving Quebec 12 months to remedy the situation.

Millions of Americans without insurance may wait forever, while many millions more are forced into bankruptcy.

We can pool our resources through a public agency, something Americans have done for generations. The city and county of Merced could save up to $14.5 million in health care premiums for their employees under Senate Bill 840, a public insurance plan proposed for California. Public health insurance will provide health care instead of welfare.

KEITH ENSMINGER

Merced

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