Letters to the Editor: Jan. 18, 2017 

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Looming disaster

Trump’s incoherence on single payer (Canada) mirrors his confused foreign policy (make Russia great again). AARP recently debunked many of the myths about Canadian health care: Fewer than 1 percent of patients leave the country for operations.

Yes, Canadians do experience long wait times in many cases, but this is due to a lack of resources, not single payer like Medicare, which does a great job of taking care of seniors in the U.S. Data from the OECD show that the U.S. spent 17.1 percent of its gross domestic product (GDP) on health care in 2013. This was almost 50 percent more than the next-highest spender (France, 11.6 percent of GDP) and almost double what was spent in the U.K. (8.8 percent). Canada spends 10.7 percent of GDP. The United States’ spending per person was equivalent to $9,267. Canada’s is $4,569 per capita — you get what you pay for. Trump falsely told Rush Limbaugh that Canada’s system is a “disaster in terms of cost” (factually nearly  $5,000 per capita cheaper than America’s bloated health spending).

And here’s a news flash: We already have government-run health care in the U.S.  Tax-funded expenditures accounted for 64.3 percent of U.S. health spending — about $1.9 trillion — in 2013(before Obamacare), according to new data published in the American Journal of Public Health.

Government spending on health care costs in the U.S. was the highest of any nation in 2013, including countries with universal health programs such as Canada, Sweden and the United Kingdom. (Estimated total U.S. health spending for 2013 was $9,267 per capita, with government’s share being $5,960.) Direct government payments for such programs as Medicare, Medicaid and the Veterans Administration accounted for 47.8 percent of overall health spending.

Thousands (if not millions) of Americans are justly terrified that 22 million people will be thrown under the bus by the GOP, yanking lifesaving insurance with only a vague promise of some future replacement plan.

If you want an idea of what comes next, consider the lunatic scam by the evil little weasel Paul Ryan to privatize Medicare, our universally acclaimed single payer system.

The Congressional Budget Office’s analysis of Ryan’s deranged Medicare scheme concluded it would cost seniors $6,358.97 a year more (by 2022) than Medicare for the same benefits because Medicare will be 36 percent cheaper than private insurance due to dramatically lower administrative costs.

The Kaiser Family Foundation also blasted more recent versions of this abomination: “Under the proposal, a typical 65-year-old retiring in 2022 would be expected to devote nearly half their monthly Social Security checks toward health care costs, more than double what they would spend under current Medicare law,” Kaiser wrote in its report summary.

DW Tiffee Norman

Hated it

I just went through the Gazette’s top music for 2016 (Music, “Year in review,” Ben Luschen, Jan. 4), and although I am no one’s music critic, nor do I possess a degree in music nor do I teach music, I was quite disappointed with the top choices and wonder how they even made anyone’s playlist.

With all the musical talent being played and released every day, I am left to wonder if those selections were made through payola. Those were just pathetic choices.

Cecil Claytor Oklahoma City

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Opinions expressed on the commentary page, in letters to the editor and elsewhere in this newspaper are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of ownership or management.

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