To the editor:
(re: “Universal health care depends on just one senator we all know,” Sept. 28)
Thank you for your editorial in the Sept. 28 issue of The Riverdale Press that clearly delineates the ways in which Sen. Jeff Klein has been undermining the passage of a single-payer health care bill in the New York State legislature, while publicly stating that he supports it.
I believe that the proposed single-payer bill is the most efficient way to reduce overhead costs in health care. It also maximizes patient choice of providers and reduces outside interference (i.e., from insurance companies) in medical decision-making between patient and provider.
The editorial also characterized the bill as providing Medicaid for all. This is accurate in the sense that there would be no premiums (beyond a progressive tax structure), co-pays or deductibles, which is not the case with Medicare. However, it is often difficult to find Medicaid providers with available appointment times because low Medicaid reimbursement rates discourage provider application.
In contract, based on my understanding of the bill, it provides for slight reimbursement increases above the Medicare/Medicaid levels. Since Medicare reimbursement levels are currently considerably higher than Medicaid levels — thus many more providers participate in Medicare — I assume this means that reimbursements would be somewhat higher than those currently paid to Medicare providers, which is critical for encouraging providers to participate.