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Why we need a single-payer system



Published: 5/1/2020 4:03:27 PM

I would like to share my recent health insurance experience, which underscores our need for a single-payer health care system. I was laid off and lost my employer-provided health insurance.

Because I had no income, I was able to enroll in MassHealth the day I applied and everything was covered with no cost except for nominal prescription copayments. However, once I received unemployment, I was not eligible because my income was too high and had to change insurance. None of the new plans I was offered cover my doctor (although I have since found out that my MassHealth coverage has been extended due to COVID-19, so I can keep seeing the same doctor at least until this emergency situation is over).

All I can hope is that my next job will offer insurance that covers that doctor. If I get a job next month, I will have had four different insurance plans in four months. This is no way to run a health care system. Reliance on insurance companies means we are letting middlemen determine our care instead of our doctors.

Tying health insurance to employment creates instability when one loses their job and they are forced to change plans. This inconsistency is bad for health.

Our current health care system is failing us and only helping insurance companies make profits. We should all be able to go to the doctor when we need to and see whichever doctor we choose, regardless of whether they are in the right “network.” We need a single-payer system in this country, like Medicare for All.

But if we can’t pass it on the national level, we should at least do it in Massachusetts. Let’s expand MassHealth to cover all residents of this state.

Lindsay Crouch

Granby



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