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We need a single-payer health care system

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The problem: afailed private insurance system that puts profits ahead of patients.

The United States has the highest health spending in the world. Yet 45 million Americans have no health insurance and millions more are under-insured and unable to access care.

Illness and medical bills contribute to half of all U.S. bankruptcies. Prescription drug costs are the highest in the world.

Even though other industrialized democracies spend less on health care, their citizens are guaranteed coverage for life; they live longer and have better access to care. Britain, New Zealand, Canada, Germany, Australia and many other countries have single-payer systems.

We need to allow fellow Americans to move about freely in the job market and not be tied to a job just for the health insurance benefits.We need to free the job creators and entrepreneurs.

With a single-payer medical system, we can cut county property taxes 50 percent by moving local Medicaid costs (mysteriously no longer itemized on the town and county tax bill) to the federal tax system. Our county and school employee health insurance for a family plan is approximately $24,000 per employee and doubles every nine to 12 years.

Recent attempts to cap property tax rates to 2 percent are doomed to fail with medical insurance and medical costs skyrocketing. St. Lawrence County legislators have attempted/proposed some creative but ineffective ways to control costs.

We need a single-payer system, and we need it now. New York health bill (A.5589-a/S.2078-a) has 74 co-sponsors and needs your help.

Richard Paolillo

Potsdam

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