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With so much going on in the news these days, our national conversation about health care has taken a backseat to other priority issues. As 2020 draws nearer, I'd like to refresh our community's memory about various proposals. Many candidates have their own versions, but if voters want true single-payer universal coverage they will need to carefully check out the details.

Also, beware that there continue to be many myths about single payer. Please remember that the health care we'll receive won't be "government run," doctors won't be government employees and hospitals will remain in private hands. Everyone will be free to choose their own doctor and there won't be the rationing we have now based on income level or access to insurance benefits. Good plans such as Sen. Sanders' S.1129 and Rep. Jayapal's H.R.1384 even add dental, vision and hearing benefits. Complexity and administrative work will be reduced while prevention will increase, allowing for cost benefits that will save enough money to insure everyone. Finally, while taxes would increase, particularly for affluent Americans, consumers will no longer have to pay for premiums, deductibles, co-pays and under-covered services, so everyone but the rich will actually save money.

For-profit health care has had a long run and it's made many corporations and investors obscenely rich. What it hasn't done is provide choices, benefits and quality care to everyone in the efficient, compassionate manner we all deserve. As we move forward to transform our system, please keep updated on the various proposals and make informed choices.

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Susan Heath

Albany (Oct. 27)

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