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John's Letter in the Times-Dispatch on Single Payer Healthcare

I read with great interest the “common-sense plan for better health-care delivery” by doctors McGuire, Scott, Thomas and Davis and Hullinen W. Moore. Basic single-payer universal healthcare and supplemental, nice-to-have coverage from private insurers mirrors my campaign position as a candidate for Virginia’s first congressional district. This plan would sharply lower our total healthcare costs, improve our general health and healthcare outcomes.

The authors correctly describe the American healthcare system as enormous, complex, redundant, inefficient and twice as expensive as that of other industrialized democracies. They did not detail the incredible damage our healthcare system does to our global economic competitiveness and ability to create well-paying American jobs. We won’t fix our economic competitiveness until we fix our healthcare system.

Only in the US is the employer primarily responsible for an employee’s healthcare. Elsewhere the government fulfills this role. An American worker has to be far more productive than a German, Japanese, or other nationality to cover his family’s healthcare cost. Today, if a company has two factories, one in America and one overseas, and wants to close one, most likely it will choose to close the American factory. This is because here the employer must pay for healthcare, which costs twice as much as it should. Likewise new factories are built overseas, not here.

Over time we can reduce our healthcare costs by 50%, to levels common in other industrial countries. If France and Canada can do it, so can we. Our expensive healthcare system hurts American economic competitiveness. The difficulty and expense in getting insurance financially ruins families and small businesses, creates incredible anxiety, and fosters unhealthy situations.

Guaranteed basic healthcare with single payer will create secure, well-paying jobs and enable Americans to start their own businesses. Such a healthcare system would make our economy and our workers competitive again.

Committee to Elect John Suddarth
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