Opinion: Single payer plan may help medical costs

http://www.timesunion.com

In an Aug. 16 letter, Mark Kriss wrote of the necessity of tort reform in reducing the cost of health care. Unfortunately, Mr. Kriss’ claims that regulating tort awards will reduce medical costs is at odds with reality. Both the cost of malpractice insurance and the payouts in malpractice cases have remained essentially constant as a fraction of health care spending in the United States. What’s more, the states that have enacted various sorts of tort reform have not seen a significant decrease in malpractice insurance costs. This information is available to anyone willing to go on Google.

Yes, health care premiums are skyrocketing, but tort reform will not address the real causes, which are drug costs, inefficiency in the insurance system and huge insurance company profits.

If Mr. Kriss really wants to reduce health care cost for all of us he would be much better advised to support some variety of single-payer plan, which can be observed at work in every other major Western nation. A single-payer plan won’t be perfect, but there’s a lot of room for improvement between “perfect” and where we are now.

Mike Jones

Mechanicville

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