In "Is Healthcare Armageddon Next?" [October 13-20], Dr. Bernadine Healy mentioned that single payer healthcare was not a feasible option. How do you come to this conclusion? According to the 2008 World Health Organization report, the United States spends 15.2 percent on healthcare as a percentage of GDP, by far the highest of the industrialized countries in the world. The next closest is Switzerland at 11.4 percent. Insurance corporations here rely on patients to miss details so that they can deny care, thus increasing profits. Implementing a single payer system would greatly reduce the huge cost burden of insurance companies, which could provide more resources for actual health services.
Royal Oak, Mich. I have an M.B.A. and an undergraduate business degree but still fail to see why a drug company needs to charge my insurance company $222 for one inhaler. My co-pay is $30 per inhaler. Does the drug company really need to charge that amount to stay in business and make a profit? Certainly it has recouped costs to bring this drug to market in the years it has been available. No wonder our healthcare system is in shambles. My husband pays $3,200 a year in premiums for our health insurance, and my drug co-pays cost me about $600 per year on top of that premium. I can't imagine what I would be paying for this inhaler and the other two medicines I take if we didn't have insurance.
Mesa, Ariz. I've been waiting for years for someone who matters to finally come forward and say that the problem with healthcare is that it costs too much! Thank you, Dr. Healy!