Letter: Health care plans have differencesAstonishingly, a man with Thomas St. Martin's extensive vocabulary appears not to understand the fundamental differences between socialized medicine, single-payer insurance and universal health care.
Astonishingly, a man with Thomas St. Martin's extensive vocabulary appears not to understand the fundamental differences between socialized medicine, single-payer insurance and universal health care (“Universal health care — Things to consider,” June 4). In Europe, only Britain and Spain have socialized medicine, and not one of the Democratic candidates for public office this year is pushing for either government-run health care or single-payer; the focus is, rather, on a combined single-payer/private-payer system.
A privatized system, according to St. Martin, would provide patients “the option to avoid rationing.” It is, however, the advocates of privatization who claim we use too much health care, and who propose placing more of the financial burden of health care on consumers to reduce usage. This is the crux of Sen. John McCain's health care plan, for example, even though he, personally, has enjoyed the benefits of government health care.
As for the "option to avoid rationing," according to a recent article in the New York Times, private insurance companies are now terminating coverage for women who have given birth by Caesarian Section, because they do not want to pay for possible future Caesarian deliveries. This is the kind of health care St. Martin is proposing for the citizens of this nation. America can do better than that.