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Single-payer is a 'boondoggle?' Look at Medicare's success

On Saturday, letter writer Robert C. Erlandson provided Sun readers with the pleasure of reading yet another of his hostile attacks on those who do not necessarily see the world as he does. This time he mocks and condemns those who would consider, analyze or even discuss the single payer health care system in Maryland, labeling the proposal “a turkey” (“Single payer will create ‘Venezuela by the Bay,’” July 19). He conflates that proposal with the “VA System” and confines his analysis to the experience of one state — Vermont — to summarily conclude that a single payer system for Maryland residents is the “foolish scheme” of “Democratic Party hacks and retreads,” led by none other than the Democratic candidate for governor, “Ben Boondoggle.”

Which leads to these questions for Mr. Erlandson: How much money is now spent by Marylanders on health care and insurance? Has he performed an objective, non-partisan, cost/benefit analysis of the current system as compared to the single payer proposal? If yes, what were his findings? If not, how can he credibly condemn and reject a proposal without any factual basis for doing so (“$24 billion for single payer in Maryland sounds like a lot — until you consider how much we spend now,” July 17)?

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Mr. Erlandson may as well be a lobbyist and advocate for the insurance industry — which certainly has no interest in reducing existing health care insurance premiums for Maryland residents. And don’t forget that the “wealthy retirees” to whom he refers have — and certainly want — the well-established single payer system known as “Medicare,” one which I surmise that he also views as a “boondoggle.”

Clay M. Barnes, Timonium

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